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St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)
St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)

St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)

Open daily
Piazza san Pietro, Vatican City, 00120

The Basics

At the center of the square, a soaring Egyptian obelisk and two marble fountains—one by Carlo Maderno dating from 1613 and the second designed by Bernini to match in 1675—break up the sweeping cobblestone space. Within the colonnade, formed by massive Doric columns and topped by 140 statues of the saints, lies the security check for entry to St. Peter's and, on the other side, the Vatican post office. The square is the site of large public Masses on the main Catholic holidays and for papal audiences, when it is packed with pilgrims from all over Italy and the world.

St. Peter's Square is best visited with a tour guide as part of a small-group tour that touches on all the Vatican highlights, including the Vatican Museums and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Gardens, and the Vatican Grottoes containing the tombs of former popes. The Vatican is a vast repository of art and history; savor it as part of a private tour with skip-the-line tickets to avoid wasting time in the Vatican's notoriously long queues.

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Skip-the-Line Tour of the Vatican,Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's | Small Group
Skip-the-Line Tour of the Vatican,Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's | Small Group
$80.96 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent Tour of The Vatican City
The knowledgeable tour guide Dr. Alicia Moreno, who took us (6) around the Vatican City and explained everything to us clearly as we are art and art history connoisseurs. She protected us from unnecessary lines. I will not do it with anybody else. "What a Life Tours" is the company that organized our tour through you. We are very pleased with their performance>
Smyrna_M, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Rome

star-5
Unmissable experience
Dympna_M, May 2022
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Massimo our tour guide made the tour interesting and his knowledge and passion for Rome and its history shone through. He ensured the safety and comfort of the group throughout the tour. Humourous and patient. A great tour guide,the tour itself was excellent but good footwear and reasonable fitness is needed as the walk to the top of the dome is hard but well worth the breathless moments to the top.
star-5
Vatican city
Marilyn_C, Aug 2022
Skip-the-Line Tour of the Vatican,Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's | Small Group
Very good tour guide Very knowledgeable and was very thoughtful for elderly not to walk too fast Sistine chapel explanation exceptional. Bravo
star-5
Great guided tour
Jacob_C, Aug 2022
Skip-the-Line Tour of the Vatican,Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's | Small Group
This was a great tour. The guide (Eugenio) was so friendly and able to answer questions. He also shared backstory of many works of art and of the Square and Basilica. Truly one of our favorite experiences we booked here in Rome.
star-5
Great guide
Jeremy_P, Aug 2022
Vatican, Sistine & St. Peter's Basilica Skip The Line & Small Group
Tour guide Brian was great. Tour could actually be longer to give more time inside the museums. Sistine chapel is amazing.
star-5
Vatican city tour
Victor_J, Aug 2022
Vatican, Sistine & St. Peter's Basilica Skip The Line & Small Group
We got to see a lot of Vatican historical places and collections along with the unique buildings. The works of art are beautiful and well preserved for public viewing. But be prepared to walk, it's rome😎
star-5
Tour of a life time
Ramon_P, Aug 2022
SkipTheLine SmallGroup: Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel and St Peter Basilica
Regardless of the religion you practice, this is one tour you can’t miss! Our guide Alessanolrd Salderno was phenomenal!! We were in communication with her and her company days before the tour. We knew exactly where to meet her. She was very knowledgeable and had amazing patience with our teenage boys. Thank you Alessanolrd for making this my children's favorite visit!
star-5
Breathtaking!
Jeff_P, Aug 2022
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
What a great tour. We had Massimo as are guide. Wonderful guide with a unlimited knowledge on the Vatican. From climbing the dome, St Peters Basilica, crypts, museum and Sistine Chapel. AMAZING and BREATHTAKING! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Stars
star-5
Our tour guide Eugene was...
Angela_B, Aug 2022
Skip-the-Line Tour of the Vatican,Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's | Small Group
Our tour guide Eugene was amazing. He was very knowledgeable, extremely patient and led our group well.
star-5
The view of Rome was breathtaking
Kristine_R, Aug 2022
The Original Entire Vatican Tour & St. Peter's Dome Climb
Climbing up the dome and looking out seeing the whole city was an amazing experience. Marianne was a wonderful guide and loved how she walked us through the basilica, Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel with so much history and stories. This was a wonderful tour and would highly recommend!
star-5
Vatican tour
CHANEL_D, Aug 2022
Vatican, Sistine & St. Peter's Basilica Skip The Line & Small Group
The guide did an excellent job and explained everything well. A lot of detailed explanation given. She made sure all in the group we’re together before she went ahead.
star-5
Awe Inspiring Scavi & St. Peter’s Basilica Tour
Kenneth_W, Jul 2022
Scavi Tour to the Tomb of St. Peter's & Skip Line Guided Tour of the Basilica
This was a remarkable and very memorable tour. Our guide, Agnes, was extremely well informed and provided incite we never would have gotten from a large-group tour. Seeing St. Peter’s tomb in person some 30 feet below the floor of the Basilica, and then touring the Basilica with Agnes was awe inspiring. We are limited to giving this five stars; to me this was a perfect 10.
star-5
Amazing learning experience!
Kendall_T, Aug 2022
Skip-the-Line Tour of the Vatican,Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's | Small Group
Our tour guide (Marlena?) was excellent and very enthusiastic about the history and art! We learned so much and saw everything we wanted to on this tour. Just be advised the Vatican museums have no AC and it can get quite crowded in the summer! Otherwise we skipped the lines for everything and are very pleased with our experience.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Vatican is its own municipality and issues stamps; visit the post office under the colonnade in St. Peter's Square to send your postcards directly from Vatican City.

  • If you would like to see Pope Francis, it is imperative to book papal audience tickets in advance.

  • The square is accessible to wheelchair users.

  • There is a dress code to enter St. Peter's Basilica that requires clothing that covers the shoulders and knees; there is no dress code for the square.

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How to Get There

The most spectacular way to enter St. Peter's Square is by foot, crossing the Emperor Hadrian's Ponte Sant'Angelo over the River Tiber to Castel Sant'Angelo (Hadrian's Tomb) and walking up the grand Via della Conciliazione. Otherwise, use one of two metro line A stops: Ottaviano–S.Pietro–Musei Vaticani or Cipro.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The square is crowded with visitors during the opening hours of St. Peter's Basilica, so consider booking a night tour or an early-entry basilica tour to see St. Peter's Square in relative peace.

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The Swiss Guards

St. Peter's Square, along with the rest of the Vatican, is protected by the historic Swiss Guards, established in the 16th century and still sporting their colorful Renaissance-style uniforms.

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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 Square (Piazza San Pietro)?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Rome?
A:
As well as visiting the St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: