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Ways to Experience Cupola di San Pietro
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Reviewed December 20, 2018

The Vatican is such a special place. I enjoyed every minute there.

We paid to take the elevator as high as we could to save our feet for additional sightseeing (there's so much to see in the Vatican and Rome). The rest of the walk upward is significant, and actually, I found it fun and architecturally interesting. The higher you go, the narrower the steps and the more curved inward the hallway is (if you are claustrophobic, note that it is a lengthy walk though some spots are much more roomy than others). You can go outside of the dome and walk all the way around it, with terrific views of Rome, as well as Vatican City. If you cannot take the garden tour, then the self-guided dome tour is a good way to see what exists behind the basilica. It is well "fenced" so it is quite safe.

Another stop on the dome tour is inside; there is a walkway where you can look down to the basilica. The view as you enter from the stairway is jaw dropping! Look up and be amazed by the dome's interior. The view here is a lot of take in (again, there is "fencing" to keep you safe).

The final stop is the basilica's roof. Parts of it slope significantly. You can look out over St. Peter's Square and Rome beyond it. It was such a treat just to be up there. An added bonus is that there is a souvenir shop up there. I am very glad that I toured the dome.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Scott G
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2018

We did this first thing in the morning. That had two advantages. First, it was the coolest time of the day. Second, no need for a trip to the gym on the day of the ascent, as it really is a climb. Going up to the very top, you have to walk tipped to the side, as the passageway is narrow and is in reality a narrow squeeze between an outer and inner dome. Don't miss it if you can make it!

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank jms_got_here_too_lat
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2018

The 571 steps up are rewarded by an awesome view of Rome. The interesting art, though is inside the dome. Definitely worth the risk of a blown aorta. Don't take the elevator; you won't appreciate the achievement of building this without powered machinery unless you walk it.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank jms_got_here_too_lat
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2018

For us we opted to climb the dome, however skipping a few hundred steps by taking the lift half way. Unless very fit this is the best option as it still leaves some 300 odd steps to climb. These steps circle around the dome and provide very little options to stop and few options for people to pass either. Towards the top the stairs incline inwards and can be quite un-nerving.
The emergence into daylight is a relief, and despite having to wait for a position at the front of the balcony, the wait for the view was well worth it.
Rome appears in all its splendor and one can see for miles, views of nearly all the major landmarks are signaled on the brochures which you get on admission and accompany the Audio Guide.
We happily spent about 30 minutes taking in memories and using our cameras.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Pathfinder803274
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2018

Some in our group went to the top (cupola) (dome), which cost 10 euros for adults (free for kids) to take the elevator half-way up, and then walk up the remaining 320 steps. (There is no option to take an elevator all the way to the top.) (The slightly cheaper option – 8 euros for adults - would have been to skip the elevator altogether and walk up the entire 551 steps. The extra 2 euros is absolutely worth it to skip 231 steps, particularly if you are with kids given that they are free.) I wish I had stopped at the half-way spot for longer, because it was really beautiful; I assumed that I’d get to see it again on the way down, but I wasn’t able to. When we went there on a Tuesday in November, there was no line at all to go up to the dome.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank 907blaked
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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