Rome - St Peter's Basilica DomeOctober 17, 2015 in Vatican City ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C
After seeing the inside of the Basilica we went to go up the dome, only to find it had just closed (being Italy, there were no signs saying when it would close). Damn, we should have gone up first! However, we had an extra day with nothing planned so we came back the next day to walk up the 550 steps to the top.
About halfway up you're standing on the roof of the main nave area so you get an up-close view of the church structure, and then go inside for a view down and around the inside of the dome (#2). Up close you can see all the "paintings" are actually mosaics made of thousands of tiny pieces of coloured glass. Many paintings here were copied using this technique and replaced, for longevity.
Next the really neat part, walking up the dome itself, in passageways that are clearly forced to fit around the shape of the dome (#3,4).
Finally you're standing in a caged-in area with spectacular 360 degree views of the city and the ant-people below. That viewing area is visible in #5, which might give a better sense of scale to the photo of the whole basilica from 2 posts ago.Read more