"From the dome of St. Peter's one can see every notable object in Rome... He can see a panorama that is varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history than any other in Europe." (Mark Twain, 1867)
See Rome from the highest heights of Michelangelo's magnificent dome on this wonderful guided tour of art, architecture and adventure! Views of the Vatican City (private Papal gardens, Papal helipad, the Pope's private railway station) hit home first. Views of the vast city of Rome come next, stretching tendril-like to the blue Tyrrhenian Sea and green Castelli Romani hills. Very few tourists climb so high to see so far!
Meet your expert Vatican tour guide on the threshold of St. Peter's Square and make your way across marble paving to the steps which wind up and around the dome. There are 551 in total so of course this is too much exertion for most. We take the elevator part of the way which cuts the step count by a sizable 171, leaving 380. We take it easy and enjoy plenty of staircase breaks on the way up!
At the summit, your guide will point out all the most interesting historical landmarks in every direction, be they in the Vatican City or the wider city of Rome, or further afield. There are a great many, so be prepared for plenty of spotting! At this point, take as many photographs as you can, you're a very long way up and it's a once-in-a-lifetime climb so don't hold back!
Easy does it on the way down to terra firma and then take a break before entering St. Peter's Basilica - an absolute triumph of art and architecture unmatched anywhere else on earth. This is where Bernini's brilliance and Michelangelo's genius rise above Holy Papal tombs and the perceived necropolis of St. Peter himself.