How to visit Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, and why you shouldn’t miss it

Castel Sant’Angelo is a not to be missed sight. His 20 centuries of history are intimately linked to Rome, views from the top are great and child love it!

A visit to Castel Sant’angelo is usually not in the bucket list of rushy Roman travellers. That’s surprising, because few monuments can give the same  sense of the Roman history along the centuries.

Visit Castel Sant'Angelo - night view

Castel Sant’Angelo, formerly Adrian Emperor Mausoleum, is one of the most famous Roman landmarks. And it’s just in front of you when walking along the tiber to Piazza Navona or getting out from St Peter’s Cathedral.

it has a fascinating history and offers one of the finest views of Rome from its rooftop terrace.

That’s why it would be a pity not to cross the scenic Ponte degli Angeli to visit one of the oldest and most fascinating Roman Monument.

You can visit Castel Sant’Angelo in an hour, after you are done with St Peter’s basilica. In this post I will address the main questions and interest you may have concerning Castle Sant’Angelo, such as:

  • What are Castel sant’Angelo hystory and facts?
  • What about Castel Sant’Angelo bridge?
  • What is inside Castel Sant Angelo?
  • How long to visit Castel Sant’Angelo?
  • Is Castel Sant Angelo part of Vatican City
  • What are Castel Sant’Angelos hours?
  • What’s the price of Castel Sant’Angelo tickets? Can I use my Roma pass?

 

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Everything you need to know before visiting St Peter’s Basilica in Rome

The 10 + 1 key things you need to know before visiting St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Tickets, opening hours, dressing code, when to visit and much more. 

Visiting St Peter’s Basilica is a highlight of any trip to Rome. That said, St Peter is is a holy place, the center of Christianity, with massive security procedure, and it’s normal for first comers to have many questions about their visit.

I tried to collect the most frequent questions about visiting St Peter’s Basilica and to provide answers and guidance, so to make your visit  smooth and enjoyable.

Here are the 10 + 1 questions you will find an answer to in this post:

  1. What is St Peter’s Basilica dress code?
  2. What’s the best time to visit St Peter’s Basilica?
  3. Why are queues to enter St Peter’s Basilica so long?
  4. What are St Peter’s Basilica opening hours?
  5. Is St Peter’s Basilica always open?
  6. How much are the tickets to enter St Peter’s Basilica?
  7. Is it possible to climb on top of St Peter’s dome?
  8. Can I take pictures in St Peter’s Basilica?
  9. When are St Peter’s Basilica Mass times?
  10. Can I visit St Peter’s tomb?
  11. (bonus question: you need to get to the end of the post to know)

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Rome in 5 days: how to get the most out of your Rome stay

Rome Italy - Vatican Museums

Rome must sees, such as Colosseum, Spanish steps and Vatican, and off the beaten path sights such as Appian way and the catacombs: easy 5 days itinerary.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you will definitely need more than 24 hours to discover it! Actually, even though two or three rushy days may be sufficient to get a glimpse of the main sights, ideally you should try to dedicate not less than five days to the visit of the eternal city.

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Climbing up St Peter’s Basilica’s dome: best way to do it

St Peters dome from the basilica

Climbing to the top of St Peter’s dome is one of the highlights of a trip to Rome. Here is how to climb the dome and how to skip the queue.

Not that many visitors know that it is possible to climb up to the top of St Peter’s dome (the “cupola”). Actually getting on top of St Peter’s dome is one of Rome must do, and a great opportunity to enjoy a fantastic and dizzying city panorama all around Rome and to admire a top down view of St Peter’s basilica nave.

When to visit St Peter’s dome

Best thing for you would be to visit the dome first thing in the morning, when it opens, at 8:00 AM. Not much queue  at that time, you may have the dome almost for yourself.

In that case, you may first climb up the dome and then visit St Peter’s basilica (when you get down from the dome you will end up in the nave).

A good alternative is to climb on top of St Peter’s dome before it closes: you will then admire Rome in its unique sunset golden light. In Wintertime, you will see Rome’s lights and, at Christmas, the huge Christmas tree in St Peter’s square.

Similarly, first go up to the dome, then visit the Basilica, which closes later than the dome.

In summertime, better to avoid climbing on top of St Peters dome in the hottest hours of the day: the stairs and the viewpoint can get very hot and uncomfortable at that time.

How to climb up St Peter’s dome

In order to climb up St Peter’s dome, you need to go throw St Peter cathedral security check.

At the entrance to the basilica, after the security check, look right. There is a sign that directs you to the far right of the portico (past the Holy Door) and to the kiosk for the elevator.

This is where you purchase the tickets to St Peter’s dome. Note that the Basilica entrance is on the right side of the colonnade.

In high season, queues could be very long and spoil part of your day.

 I would recommend to purchase a St Peter Basilica skip the line ticket and save your valuable time (follow the link for a value for money option, including audioguide).

You can take the elevator to the roof level (saving 320 steps). However, if you want to get to the top of the dome you must take the stairs for the last portion. This makes 551 steps in total.

The entrance cost is Cost 10 Euros for elevator, 8 Euros for stairs.

After the brief elevator ride (or the first 320 steps) stop before your climb to the dome. Here you can enjoy a great view from the gallery inside the dome looking down into the basilica .

Take a few moments to absorb the astonishing beauty of the cupola from within – and looking down – the main altar.

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