Vatican Cupola

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Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Italy

Vatican Cupola Vatican City Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
110 reviews
Vatican Cupola Mar 06, 2013
It was pouring rain when I visited the Vatican, but the compulsion to climb to the top of St. Peter's Basillica was more powerful than my common sense. From the walkway inside the dome you look down directly over the altar. Taking photos is awkward due to the fence that keeps fools from falling over and crushing the Pope. The stairway that winds around the dome to the very top has spaces for out-of-shape Americans like me to catch our breaths, though I was joined by gentlemen from Japan and Austria who were also huffing and puffing at one of the stops (they waved their superhuman children to go on without them). The views of the city were worth the climb, even in the rain.

Just outside the entrance to the cupola on the roof was a gift shop (of course!) staffed by nuns and a small eatery that only served soda, water, and ice cream. There was but one table despite ample room for more and the burly guy working the place was annoyed that I distracted him from his girlfriend sitting on the counter . Kind of took away from the mystique of being at the Vatican. Some more tables and chairs for worn-out tourists having just descended from the cupola would have been nice. And maybe some cold beer too. Now I know what purgatory feels like, which might have been the purpose of the dismal shop after all.
Fenced in
The dome
I think my head can plug that open…
Shifting focus
13 / 13 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine says:
Congrats on the feature! It looks pretty amazing.
Posted on: Feb 17, 2014
stacey72 says:
Congratulations! :D
Posted on: Feb 17, 2014
missandrea81 says:
Congratulations on your feature!
Posted on: Feb 17, 2014
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Dr_Seuss Dr_Seuss
216 reviews
Dome Of St Peter's Jun 27, 2009
My 'penanace' for dragging my son round the museum was he wanted to climb to the top of the dome. He's always had a thing about climbing. After coming through security enterance the access to the Dome is at the right hand side of St Peter's.

We were lucky in that it was pretty quiet when we were there and there was only a small queue for the Dome. You can do it two ways climb all the steps from the bottom (€5) or get the lift up to the first stage (€7), and we (I) went for the latter. Even at that there is still a fair amount of stairs to climb.

At the first stage you go back into the Basilica and it gives good views down into the church. The first sets of stairs are tight stone spirals that take you up to the start of the dome. You then come to stairs that wind their way round the inside of the dome and I found these more of a problem, as the roof is so close I couldn't stand up straight and had to do the whole thing leaning inwards which left me feeling a bit dizzy.

Worth it though when you get to the top, as there are great views across Rome. Also you can look into the rest of the Vatican City, which at ground level access is blocked at checkpoints by Swiss guard. You are free to spend as much time as you like up here, and at least when I went there weren't throngs of people about so you could get access to all the viewpoints quite easily.

Nice little add on for visiting the Vatican, and while you don't need to be superfit to do it, it does take a fair bit of effort to do.
Down Into The Basilica
Inside The Vatican City
Vatican City Gardens
St Peter's Square From The Dome
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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