Visit St Peter’s Basilica, climb its dome, and see the papal crypt on a 2.5-hour tour. Starting early, you’ll see St. Peter’s Square without the large daytime crowds, then head to the top of the dome for panoramic vistas over the capital. Tour the basilica to admire Michelangelo’s ‘La Pietà’ among other highlights, then finish with a visit to the papal crypt — a site normally missed by other tour groups. Numbers are limited to 15 for a small-group experience.
At 8am, head to Bar Polese, Piazza della Città Leonina, near St. Peter’s Square. Meet your guide, then start your tour at 8:15am.
At this early time, you’ll stroll around St. Peter’s Square without the crowds that appear later in the day. See the Swiss Guard in their colorful attire as you make your way to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. With your small group and guide, you’ll take the elevator to the dome’s first terrace to admire its intricate mosaics and other close-up details.
The summit of the dome sits atop of 231 steps; there’s no quick way up, but the view from the top rewards your efforts. Have your camera ready to capture a stunning panorama of Rome, stretched out from St. Peter’s Square to the Tiber River and beyond.
Make your way back down the steps, then take a tour of the basilica itself. See Bernini’s famous bronze baldachin and La Pietà, an early Michelangelo masterpiece. Rub the foot of a sacred statue for luck, and hear the history that’s steeped into the walls of the grand basilica.
Before you leave, you’ll visit the papal crypt. Discover the most significant tombs, and listen to stories about the men whose bodies were laid to rest in the crypt. Your tour finishes here.