The Sistine Chapel

Italian version
St Peter's Basilic
Vatican State symbol and center of Catholicism, St. Peter's Basilica is the largest of the four papal basilicas of Rome and the largest Catholic church in the world.
While the primitive Basilica of St. Peter was erected around 320 by Emperor Constantine at the place where, according to tradition, the Apostle Peter was buried, the present basilica was begun April 18, 1506 under Pope Julius II and ended in 1626, during the pontificate of Pope Urban VIII
The emblem of the basilica and of the entire city of Rome is the Dome that, built in two years by Giacomo Della Porta, following the designs of Michelangelo, is surprising in size and harmony: 133 meters high, 41, 50 meters in diameter (a little lower than that of the Pantheon) and 537 steps from the building's base to the lantern
The monumental Piazza San Pietro, built by Gian Lorenzo Bernini between 1657 and 1667, and the splendid colonnade of 284 columns of the Doric order and eighty-eight travertine pillars, is crowned by the basilica. Columns are arranged radially in four rows so as to maintain the proportional relationships between spaces and columns even in external files.
So the viewer reaching the porphyry disks at the sides of the obelisk sees the colonnade as consisting of a single row of columns!

Dimensions of the Basilic
Maximum external length: 218 m
Internal length: 186.36 m
Length of the atrium: 71 m
Height of the vaults: about 45 m
Height of the dome: 133.30 m (136.57 m according to some sources)
Height of canopy: 28 m
Height of the facade: 45.44 m (48 m with statues)
Atrium height: 19 m
Center nave width: 26 m
Width of the dome drum: 41.50 m
Facade width: 114.69 m
Building area: 23.000 m² (of which 15.160 can be walked)

The Dome
It is one of the most famous symbols of Rome in the world, as well as one of the largest masonry works ever built.
Designed and started by Michelangelo during the pontificate of Pope III Farnese, the works were resumed, after the interruption due to his death, by Giacomo Della Porta and Domenico Fontana, under Pope Sixtus V Peretti.
The construction ended in 1523, under Pope Clement VIII, with the covering of the dome with lead plates and the placement, on the cusp of the lantern, of the large golden bronze sphere surmounted by the cross (by S.Torregiani)


  • External height (at the top of the cross): 133.30 mt
  • Internal height (at the vault of the lantern): 117.57 mt
  • External diameter: 58.90 mt
  • Internal diameter: 41.50 mt
  • Weight: approximately 14,000 tons

    Entry times

  • 07.30 - 17.00: from 1st October to 31st March
  • 07.30 - 18.00: from April 1st to September 30th

    Box office tickets

  • € 10.00: Elevator to the terrace level and continue on foot (320 steps)
  • € 8.00: Walk up 551 steps
  • € 5.00: Reductions for schools by presenting a certificate from the Institute with the list of participants

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