St. Peter’s Basilica
- Free audio guide
What you'll do
Explore the exquisite decor, crypts and Baldacchino of Rome's largest Roman Catholic church and learn about its history with a free audio guide.
Enjoy entry to St. Peter’s Basilica with your OMNIA Vatican & Rome Pass
- Visit the historic Roman church, famous for its beautiful architecture and grandiose catholic roots.
- Includes the official audio guide from the Basilica – worth €5.
- This attraction is included with your OMNIA Card, which allows you free entry to Vatican City attractions, as well as the Rome Hop-On Hop-Off Bus.
St Peter’s Basilica is Rome’s most famous church and one of the most important catholic landmarks in the world. As the holy epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith, it’s vital to the history and culture of Rome – even to this day, it is a place of global pilgrimage. With its impressive dome, gilt, and marble interior it’s a wonder to behold not only for its symbolism but for its art and architecture, too.
With OMNIA you can explore this iconic basilica with the official audio guide. To collect the Basilica audio guide please go at the desk under the porch (after the security check) and show your Omnia card. You will be asked to leave your ID at the desk as a guarantee to get the physical audio guide.
- Bernini’s canopy.
- Under the Dome.
- St Peter’s Square.
- Papal Throne.
Did you know
- St Peter’s Basilica doesn’t have a single painting in it at all – all the ‘art’ is sculptures, architecture and mosaics.
- The only person permitted to give mass at the altar underneath the Baldacchino is the Pope.
- Although it’s the biggest church in Rome, it’s not the official seat of the Pope – St John in the Lateran actually holds that title.
Things to see
You can’t miss the huge bronze canopy in the middle of the nave, the Baldacchino, and at 30 meters tall its imposing structure calls upon any visitor to admire this Baroque pavilion. Built by Bernini in the first half of the 17th century its architecture and design was inspired by various religious influences, such as the canopy held over the heads of the Popes in procession, the Temple of Jerusalem, and the emblem of Pope Urban in its laurel leaf detail.
As the tallest dome in the world – measuring 136.57 metres in height it was designed by some of the greatest artists of all time. The original designs were by Bramante, in 1506, and were modelled on the Pantheon in its style and structure. It then passed through the hands of Sangallo who took inspiration from Bramante’s Pantheon model and the Florence Cathedral, before Michelangelo took all previous plans into consideration and created what we see now, with Giacomo Della Porta and Domenico Fontana actually finishing the build over 90 years later.
St Peter’s Square
St Peter’s Square, also created by Bernini, is another prime example of Baroque art and architecture in Rome. Constructed over ten years, 1656-1667, it sits in front of St Peter’s Basilica and is dominated by a 40 metre tall Egyptian obelisk, as well as an original fountain by Maderno. The colonnades are lined with two rows of marble pillars and 140 statues perched on top depicting important religious figures.
Know before you go
Getting in: show your OMNIA Card upon arrival.
Where you'll be
Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, IT
Monday-Saturday: 10AM-1PM, 1PM-3PM, 3PM-5:30PM
Sunday: 1PM-3PM, 3PM-5:30PM
Closings & holidays
Sundays, 28th March, 23rd-24th April, 29th June, 15th August, 1st November, 8th December, 25th and 26th December.
Please note: St Peter's Basilica will close at 12:30PM on 1st, 4th and 5th October.
Dreaming of that Rome city break?
Sign up to receive top travel tips