Located in the Vatican City within Rome, St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter’s Square are some of the most ornate and richly historical places to experience.
As a religious person myself, I knew that this was a place I couldn’t miss during my trip to Rome.
Because we went in the middle of March, the crowds were tolerable, but still there. While we waited in the line to enter (about 30 minutes) my friends and I chatted with college-aged American tourists who were visiting as a mission trip. All the young people were Catholic, one had recently been baptized. It was such a neat experience to hear all that they believed.
When you first walk in, you’ll see The Pietà by Michelangelo in the north aisle behind glass. It seemed smaller than I thought it would be… but still, I stood there for several minutes and allowed myself to feel the thoughts and emotions that came over me. Connecting with not only the historic event that this piece depicts, but also what Michelangelo felt as he created it.
This basilica is truly the largest and most GRAND I’ve ever set foot in. It was easy to feel totally overwhelmed by it all.
We didn’t buy a guided tour, but relied on the Rick Steve’s Europe app to guide us along all that we needed to see within the mighty basilica.
At the center of the basilica is a large Baroque sculpted bronze canopy, called St. Peter's Baldachin, over the high altar. It was designed by Bernini was intended to mark the place of apostle Peter’s tomb underneath. As I’m such a Bernini fan, this was something I truly marveled at.
Going up into the dome to see out onto the square was a must. You take, what feels like, a million stairs to reach the view from above.
If you’re not scared of heights… or at least can tolerate them to a degree (like me) then this is an experience you cannot forgo.
I was taken aback by all the statues of saints that are shown not only within the basilica, but all around the square as well. Each one has a meaning and it’s proper place.
If going to Rome, this place needs to be on your list to visit!