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St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro )

Experience this high-domed church at the heart of Catholicism and its magnificent gallery at the heart of the art world.

The lofty dome of St. Peter’s Basilica is the great towering symbol of the minuscule Vatican state and a towering artistic statement of the Late Renaissance and Baroque periods.

The history of this site incorporates a great deal of Christian mythology. The story goes that, after the crucifixion of Jesus, one of his 12 disciples, Peter from Galilee, embarked on a long trek to Rome where he was martyred by Emperor Nero. The location where he died, close to the Egyptian obelisk in the Circus (which still stands today), was initially marked by a red rock, and then by a shrine, followed by the first (Old) St. Peter’s Basilica in 360. This wooden structure stood for more than a millennium until it fell into disrepair in the 15th century. In 1506, Pope Julius II broke ground on the basilica and a series of Renaissance masters began an immense century-long construction project.

Officially opened on November 18, 1626, the last 400 years have seen St. Peter’s Basilica become one of the most sacred sites of Catholicism and one of the world’s top tourist attractions. The beautiful exterior is a cross-generational collaboration between Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo, and includes an enormous nave and the high, iconic dome. It’s what stands inside, however, that really impresses.

Once inside, you’ll find frescoes and mosaics by the likes of Bernini and Giotto and a host of other treasures. Michelangelo’s Pietà and Arnolfo di Cambio’s Saint Peter sculptures, Vico Consorti’s Holy Door and Bernini’s famous altar are in good company with the treasures buried below the ground, such as the beautiful tombs of significant Vatican figures, from St. Peter to Pope John Paul II. Whether you’re a Catholic, an art aficionado or just a lover of beauty, St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-see.

The basilica is in central Rome and is open daily, although opening times vary according to the season. If you are planning to visit the Vatican Museums at the same time, be aware it is closed on Sundays with the exception of the last Sunday of the month. 


You can walk to the basilica from the city center; the most direct route is to cross the Tiber and walk straight up Via della Conciliazione. The Metro train station Ottaviano is a short walk away along Via Ottaviano.


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 12,281 properties near St. Peter's Basilica
Starhotels Michelangelo
Starhotels Michelangelo

Starhotels Michelangelo

Via Della Stazione Di San Pietro 14, Rome, RM
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Vatican, this family-friendly Rome hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel. Castel Sant'Angelo and Vatican Museums are also within 1 mile (2 km). Rome San Pietro Station is only a 4-minute walk and Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is 18 minutes.

    Villa Agrippina Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World €388
    Villa Agrippina Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World

    Villa Agrippina Gran Meliá - The Leading Hotels of the World

    Via del Gianicolo 3, Rome, RM
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Rome hotel is located on the riverwalk, within a 10-minute walk of St. Peter's Square and Castel Sant'Angelo. Villa Farnesina and Piazza Navona are also within 15 minutes. Rome San Pietro Station is 12 minutes by foot and Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is 18 minutes.

      Residenza Paolo VI €236
      Residenza Paolo VI

      Residenza Paolo VI

      Via Paolo VI, 29, Rome, RM
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Vatican, this property is steps away from St. Peter's Square, Paul VI Audience Hall and St. Peter's Basilica. Sistine Chapel and Apostolic Palace (Palace of the Vatican) are also within 10 minutes. Rome San Pietro Station is 9 minutes by foot and Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is 13 minutes.

        Palazzo Cardinal Cesi €206
        Palazzo Cardinal Cesi

        Palazzo Cardinal Cesi

        Via Conciliazione 51, Rome, RM
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Vatican, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St. Peter's Basilica and Piazza Navona. Pantheon and Trevi Fountain are also within 2 mi (3 km). Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is 12 minutes by foot and Rome San Pietro Station is 13 minutes.

          White Vatican €33
          White Vatican

          White Vatican

          Via Catone 21, Rome, RM
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Vatican, this townhouse accommodation is within a 10-minute walk of Via Cola di Rienzo, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel are also within 15 minutes. Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lepanto Station is 13 minutes.

            Hotel Adriano €132
            Hotel Adriano

            Hotel Adriano

            Via di Pallacorda, 2, Rome, RM
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Rome City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Trevi Fountain and Castel Sant'Angelo are also within 15 minutes. Spagna Station is 11 minutes by foot and Barberini Station is 15 minutes.

              Palazzo Dama (Preferred Hotels & Resorts) €329
              Palazzo Dama (Preferred Hotels & Resorts)

              Palazzo Dama (Preferred Hotels & Resorts)

              Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia 2, Rome
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Rome City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza del Popolo and Via del Corso. Villa Borghese and Pincio are also within 10 minutes. Flaminio - Piazza del Popolo Station is only a 3-minute walk and Rome Piazzale Flaminio Station is 6 minutes.

                Elenoire Rooms & Suite €90
                Elenoire Rooms & Suite

                Elenoire Rooms & Suite

                Via Caio Mario n.8, Rome, RM
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Vatican, this townhouse accommodation is within a 15-minute walk of Via Cola di Rienzo, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Square. Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica are also within 15 minutes. Ottaviano - San Pietro - Musei Vaticani Station is only a 5-minute walk and Lepanto Station is 11 minutes.