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  • The Original St. Peter’s Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs

Begin your day at the Vatican with an ascent to the top of St. Peter’s Dome where you’ll take in the most unforgettable view of Rome before entering the Basilica to marvel at masterpieces by Michelangelo and Bernini.


  • Tour St. Peter’s Basilica literally from top to bottom with this exclusive guided tour
  • Experience a view of Rome like no other from Michaelangelo’s majestic dome—the tallest on earth!
  • Visit the “Vatacombs,” the eerie resting place of former popes beneath St. Peter’s Basilica


Beat the crowds at St. Peter’s Basilica as it opens for the day. Take the lift partway up and make the final ascent on foot—the reward at the top is worth it. Feast your eyes on Vatican City and greater Rome from the tallest dome in the world! Back on terra firma we enter the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica. Fully experience this triumph of art and architecture that’s unmatched anywhere else on earth, where Bernini’s brilliance and Michelangelo’s genius rise above papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter himself.

Meet your expert Vatican guide by St. Peter’s Square and leave Rome behind you as you cross into Vatican City and enter St. Peter’s Basilica just as it opens to the public. Once inside, get ready to take in the most spectacular views of Rome as the elevator carries you up to the terrace level of the basilica (or walk if you prefer and earn yourself a gelato later)!

At the terrace level you can decide whether to relax and take in the view or climb the remaining 320 steps up to the summit, where the breathtaking view of Rome and beyond is simply unforgettable. Your guide will point out all the most interesting historical landmarks in every direction, be they in Vatican City, the wider city of Rome, or further afield. At this point, take as many photographs as you can; you’re a very long way up and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime climb, so don’t hold back!

As what goes up must come down, join us on a descent into the lower level of the basilica to experience the “Vatacombs,” a series of grottoes containing papal crypts and effigies crafted by the most celebrated artists of the centuries. Next on this adventure will be an in-depth tour of St. Peter’s Basilica—an absolute triumph of art and architecture unmatched anywhere else on earth. This is where Bernini’s brilliance and Michelangelo’s genius rise above holy papal tombs and the necropolis of St. Peter himself.


  • Unique experience at the summit of the world’s tallest dome with an expert Vatican tour guide
  • Incredible views of Rome and far beyond which most visitors to the Vatican never see
  • Beat the crowds by getting an early start inside St. Peter’s
  • Marvel at astonishing works of art and architecture


  • Food and drink
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities
  • Necropolis (scavi)

Know before you book

  • The final ascent by foot to the dome summit requires climbing 320 somewhat steep steps in a confined area. People suffering from claustrophobia or any other health conditions that could pose a problem should strongly consider remaining at the terrace level.
  • Due to the route covered and/or the means of transportation used, it is not possible to participate in this tour using a wheelchair, scooter, or other aid. Please contact us to inquire about customized tour options for guests with mobility challenges.
  • Prefer to book a private tour instead? Contact us for details.

Know before you go

  • Check-in on site at St. Peter’s (full details will be sent with your tour confirmation)
  • Shoulders and knees must be covered for both men and women

Cancellation Policy

  • Tours depart rain or shine unless otherwise specified.
  • All cancellations must be received in writing. Tours and passes will be refunded if cancelled more than 24 hours before the tour start time, however the following penalties apply:
  • For tours entering the Vatican Museums and/or the Colosseum (venues where tickets are non-refundable) a penalty of $30 per person will be retained for each venue.
  • No refunds will be made for cancellations with less than 24 hours notice or failure to arrive at the meeting point on time (no-show).

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