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"St. Peter's" St. Peter's Basilica - Basilica San Pietro Tip by tinyvulture


In 324 AD, Constantine erected a church over the tomb of St. Peter, but it fell to disrepair over the years until Michelangelo designed a new plan for it and worked on it until he died, then Maderno and Bernini finished the project. The huge square in front with its arms that reach out to pull in visitors to the church (not literally!) was also designed by Bernini. We went to the cupola first. You go up in an elevator and you think you are there, but no. You must walk up 320 narrow, claustrophobic steps to the top. But the view is well worth it, as you can see all of Rome! Then we headed back down and into the church, which is so huge. Bernini's baldacchino (wooden canopy) is 7 stories tall, and then you have the Pieta by Michelangelo in one of the side chapels, protected by thick glass. We were disappointed that we could not actually go up close to it, but hey, it was still the Pieta. You can also go under the church to see where all the popes are buried.

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  • Updated May 29, 2004
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