Our final, but one of the best, stops on our sightseeing tour of Rome was the St Peter’s Basilica, which played a major role in the “Angels and Demons” book by Dan Brown, along with other magnificent structures like the Castel Saint’Angelo, Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
It is an Italian Renaissance church in the Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome and actually the world’s largest church with a capacity for approx 60.000 people. Even though it is not the mother church of the Catholic church, it is considered as one of the holiest Catholic shrines (Wikipedia).
St. Peter’s Basilica is built on the tomb of St Peter, who was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. After the first Basilica was knocked down due to deterioation, it took 120 years to rebuild it (done in and some of the most famous architects of the time contributed to its design, like Gianlorenzo Bernini, Carlo Maderna and of course the great Michelangelo.
Visit to the Basilica is free, but there is a fee if you want to see the beautiful dome made by Michelangelo (approx EUR 10 for adults). It is also possible to buy “skip the line”-tickets from a tour operator from around EUR 20, incl an audio guide. We visited the Basilica a hot July afternoon (35-40 degrees C) and we had not booked any skip-the-line-tickets in advance, but still it did not take us more than 15 minutes to pass the security check and enter the building.
I am sure I could have wandered around inside for hours, just admiring the interior; awsome! Junior, however, started to get bored after about an hour, so since he had been a good trooper through 6 hours of sightseeing, we called it a day and took a taxi back home to the hotel. But, I will definitely return one day.