Climbing the dome of St Peter Basilica is an experience of the lifetime. When you’re in the Vatican and plan to visit the world’s largest church, you should conquer the dome!
The Dome. Michelangelo designed the dome but he died even before it was completed. He only got to finish the base of it. Giacomo della Porta continued his vision for the dome. St Paul Cathedral in London and the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. domes are said to be modelled from here.
How to Climb the Dome. There are two ways to go up there.
First is by taking the stairs which would cost you 5 euros. That’s 320 steps for you to climb all the way to the base of the dome.
Second is by taking the elevator which costs 7 euros. However, be it known that the elevator will only be until the base of the dome. You’ve got to stop here and admire the view below – the inside of St Peter’s Basilica. The round balcony is protected with barbed wire fence – for safety reasons. A guard on duty watches vandals who’d attempt to leave their crap.
Another Set of Stairs. From the dome’s base or interior balcony, you’re gonna take another 231 steps that will lead you to the topmost part of the dome. I have to tell you that if you have fear of closed, narrow spaces / stairs, this challenge isn’t for you. The good thing here is that, no one goes down from the same steps. The exits stairs are on different side. At the end of your struggle, the panoramic view of Rome is awaiting and worth the climb.
Related: Inside the St Peter Basilica
The Photos Below. This is what you’ll see from the interior round balcony on the base of the dome. It is directly overlooking the altar of the Basilica. In my next post, I’ll show you the view of Rome from the apex of the cathedral.
Money-Saving Tip in Rome and Vatican
Rome and the Vatican are packed with places to see and history to marvel at. If you’re going to stay there for a few days only, it’s very impossible to squeeze and see everything you want to see. This Rome & Vatican Pass will let you see the places you’ve been dying to visit and known of from the pages of history books.
Hostel Alessandro Palace and Bar is your best bet in Rome. This hostel exceeded my expectations. The spacious rooms are secured with magnetic key cards and equipped with safe lockers for your valuables. You have to bring your own lock though. If you forgot to bring one, you can always buy one in their vending machine downstairs. They also have a bar that serves your alcohol needs. The staff are friendly and speaks English, too. The area has a lot of cafes, restaurants and grocery shops. The Roman Colosseum is 30 minutes and the Trevi Fountain is 20 minutes walk from here. But, most of all, it’s less than 5 minutes walk to the Rome Central Station. Trains to the airport and to another parts of Italy start and end in this station. You can book Hostel Alessandro Palace and Bar in Rome via HostelWorld and Booking.