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“A historical masterclass”

St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro)
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Papal Audience Tickets and Presentation
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This grand and magnificent square has retained its classical beauty and serves as the place from which the masses receive the Pope's weekly blessing.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
103 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“A historical masterclass”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

My wife and I visited Rome last July. On our first day there we went to St. Peter's Basilica. Naturally, you can't help but be engaged by this massive piazza that rests in front of the famous church. The square itself was designed so that thousands of people could attend the Pope's outdoor address'. It boasts architectural beauty at the hands of several renowned Italian artists throughout the centuries, but mainly Bernini. The overall design, which you can see if you decide to climb the cupola inside the basilica, is much like two outstretched arms reaching out to embrace the city or those faithful who choose to visit. Many of Bernini's sculptures of biblical saints are lined along the colonnade. At the very center of the symmetrical square you'll find an ancient Egyptian obelisk dating back to 2500 BC. History tells us Peter was put to death at the hands of the Emperor Nero on this site. I found the statue of St. Peter especially moving. His face is portrayed with a gentle humility and compassion yet confidently holding the "keys of the kingdom" in his right hand. There's so much history here! Sit back and breath in the ambiance of this amazing place.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Dan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London England
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603 reviews
272 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
“A walk in history”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

When you think of the history that has taken place in this square and the architecural and historical significance of the surrounding builds you can see what its a top attraction in Rome and such a great place to visit.

If you can,go here during the evening for some great pictures of the the Basillica.

Visited February 2013
Thank Preyom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Top List for a Reason”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

St Peter's Square is definitely one of the landmarks in Rome you should set a side the time to see. With it being close to St Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum, this trio is worth the time.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Eugene T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
104 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“It's A Big Piazza”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

The square is huge, though I'm sure when the Pope is giving a speech it isn't large enough to contain everyone. The view of the Basilica is extremely good but unfortunately there appears to be ongoing construction work on the loggias enclosing the square which mars the overall appearance.

If you can get close to the gate on the left hand side of the Basilica (when you're facing it), you'll be able to see some Swiss Guards. When I was there there were barricades up and I strongly suggest that you stay behind them because despite the colourful Renaissance uniform, they don't look like they'll put up with any nonsense.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank WildCanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
242 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Enormous Square”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

My wife and I have visited St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) many times over the past 13 years. Thirteen years ago we were told by our guide to meet her “at the front of St. Peter’s”; silly us, we thought she meant in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, when what she really meant was by the street in front of St. Peter’s Square – about 200 yards away. Effectively, we were unceremoniously ditched by our tour guide at St. Peter’s Square!

Designed by Bernini and framed on two sides by a gigantic semi-circular set of 4-deep colonnades topped by many various statues culminating in St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square is magnificent – beyond impressive. The piazza is so immense that you wouldn’t think it could ever become crowded; however, if you happen to be there when a throng of pilgrims has gathered to receive a mass given by the Pope, you’d quickly change your mind. The multitudes pack the piazza body-to-body, front-to-back, side-to-side – hundreds of thousands of people. It seems when you’re with so many people, you almost have the sensation of being caught in a swiftly moving river that winds its way through the piazza carrying you along as it would. Over the years, we have managed to catch Pope John Paul making a brief appearance in the window of his apartment a couple of times. The last time we were there, with only a few thousand people in St. Peter’s Square, we were only a few feet away when Pope Benedict XVI came out in his Popemobile and proceeded to the front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

It’s hard to imagine traveling all the way to Rome without visiting St. Peter’s Square.

Visited May 2012
Thank Paolo-Chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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