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St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)
St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)

St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)

Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Italy

The Basics

St. Peter’s Dome is one of the most popular sights in Rome, so booking a skip-the-line St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) tour is essential to avoid waiting in long lines, especially in the busy summer months. Tours of the dome and basilica are also included in most Vatican tours, which typically include access to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican gardens. The entrance to the dome is at the portico of the basilica, and views are both internal over the basilica’s main altar and external over the city of Rome.

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Complete St Peters Basilica Tour with Dome Climb and Crypt
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Complete St Peters Basilica Tour with Dome Climb and Crypt
star-4.5
$40.36 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Worth joining the tour
The tour guide Marie is very informative and caring. Dome climb was interesting and my family enjoyed the tour.
Zoe_L, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
A visit to St Peter’s worth the view from the Dome
Julia_B, May 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
An excellent guide who kept us interested all throughout the wait to get in. We did not have long as visit was at 8.45 - well worth getting up early for. St Peter’s and the dome were fascinating but the grotto is not really interesting unless you enjoy seeing the very boring coffins of past popes. All very clean and not what you’d expect for a grotto. Otherwise a worthwhile visit.
star-5
Last minute booking went smoothly
Stefanie_K, Aug 2022
Private Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes
We booked this tour the night before because other plans had fallen out. I was so happy that everything went smoothly the next day. Our guide was so knowledgeable about the basilica and gave us a lot of history on the building and on the Catholic Church in Italy. We loved going down into the grottoes and then up into the dome. The views were spectacular from the top. It was a wonderful tour.
star-4
Beautiful view from the...
Carissa_L, Aug 2022
Early Morning St Peter’s Basilica Tour with Dome Climb
Beautiful view from the top. skip the line was a little deceiving as we still had to wait in the line but well worth it
star-5
Excellent
Mario_M, Aug 2022
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
All was excellent, on time and the guide gave us a lot of info about the basilica that we did not know.
star-5
Great tour with great tour guide!
Kris_C, Aug 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Overall experience was great! Tour guide was knowledgeable, friendly and approachable! We were able to go through the entire Basilica and she explained all parts of the church!
star-5
Moving experience, great guide
Sylvia_K, Jul 2022
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
It was very moving to be in this hallowed space. Our guide Eduardo was extremely knowledgeable and communicated the history and backstories of the architecture and artworks is a lively, engaging manner. Eduardo is one of the best guides I’ve ever had.
star-5
Our guide was excellent,...
Laura_W, Aug 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Our guide was excellent, knowledgeable and charming. However! It says”skip the line” and we skipped NO line. We stood in the heat & sun with everyone else who did not pay extra for this tour. So they should make that clear!
star-5
St. Peter’s Basilica Tour
Margaret_M, Jul 2022
Private Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes
Extraordinary guide, extraordinary experience! Views from the Dome were breathtaking!l The story” of the building of the Basilica were inspiring
star-5
View Priceless Art Works - worth it!
Theresa_Y, Aug 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Tour started in the museum where we saw many beautiful priceless art pieces, then a pass through the chapel. Note, no talking or photos in the chapel. And ended in the Bascillica where you get dropped off to explore the bascillica at your own pace. The bascillica portion is not guided although the guide told us about a famous Michael Angelo sculpture which we should not miss! Highly recommend
star-5
Loved the tour!
ELIZABETH_R, Jul 2022
St. Peter's Basilica with Vatican official guides
Loved the tour--very thorough and informative! Our guide was great. We were able to listen to a service in the nave and see a bride and her father enter the basilica for her wedding in a side chapel. Recommend going up to the dome for another interesting view.
star-5
Well worth the money.
Tien_N, Jul 2022
Tour of St Peter's Basilica with Dome Climb and Grottoes in a Small Group
Patrizio was a patient guide with a great deal of knowledge to share and a nice sense of humor. We learned a lot. Our group was only about 12 people.
star-5
Extremely happy
Katherine_H, Jul 2022
St. Peter Basilica and Dome Small-Group Tour
Out of all of our tours in Rome, St. Peter Basilica and Dome Small Group Tour was our favorite. We had an amazing guide who was very knowledgeable. We (even my husband who is very hard to please) are extremely happy with our experience.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • You must pass through a security check to access the dome—banned items include pocketknives, corkscrews, and umbrellas.

  • The dress code in the basilica and dome requires that shoulders and knees are covered.

  • The dome is partially accessible to wheelchair users. There is an elevator to the roof level (or you can climb the 320 steps), but only a spiral staircase provides access to the cupola at the highest point of the dome (another 200 steps).

  • Views are dizzying from the top of St. Peter’s Dome, so visiting the top is not recommended for anyone afraid of heights.

  • Kids especially enjoy the invigorating climb and views, so consider joining a small-group tour tailored to families if traveling with children.

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How to Get There

St. Peter’s Basilica is located on St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) in Vatican City. The closest metro station is Ottaviano.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The dome is open to the public daily. Early morning is the best time to visit, both to beat the crowds and to catch the optimal light for photographing the view.

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St. Peter’s Dome History

Like Rome, St. Peter’s Dome wasn’t built in a day. Work began on the basilica in 1506, initially overseen by Roman architect Donato Bramante and later passed on to successors such as Raphael and Bernini. Yet it was Michelangelo who took on the task of completing the dome, proposing a design based on those of previous architects. After his death, his assistants continued the work and, in the end, it was Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana, under the appointment of Pope Sixtus V, who saw the completion of the dome in 1590.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro)?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Rome?
A:
As well as visiting the St. Peter's Dome (Cupola di San Pietro), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: