St. Peter's Square, Rome

St. Peter's Square, Rome (must see)

Saint Peter’s Square is the most famous square in the world. It is also an architectural and engineering masterpiece and no visitor to Rome should miss visiting it.

The square was redesigned between 1657 and 1667 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who was already working on the Basilica. Pope Alexander VII wanted the piazza in front of St Peter’s Basilica to be a place where everyone could see him, but not too grand to distract from the Basilica itself.

Bernini designed the square to be partially surrounded by curved and covered colonnades, 196 metres wide and 148 metres long. The colonnades are supported by 284 Doric style columns set in four rows. On top of each colonnade are statues of various martyrs and saints.

Pope Sixtus V had the obelisk in the centre of the square moved here from the Circus of Nero in 1586 by Domenico Fontana. In 1817 circular stones were laid to mark the shadow of the obelisk’s tip at noon.

The cobblestone paving is broken up by travertine lines radiating out from the obelisk. At each end of the colonnades stands a fountain; one was built by Carlo Maderno in 1614, the other by Bernini in 1667. Between each fountain and the obelisk, you will see a round slab of porphyry. If you stand on one of these slabs and look at the columns, you will be struck by a startling optical illusion: it seems that there is only one row of columns instead of four!

The square is the focal point of pilgrimages and over 300,000 people gather here every year to hear the Pope’s Easter speech. Three flights of steps lead from the square to the Basilica.

Why You Should Visit:
A beautiful wrap-up for the Vatican tour, or a great option for sightseeing and pictures, even if you do not plan to walk into the Basilica or the Vatican museum.

Tip:
May prove difficult in hot/wet/cold weather, or if you have a problem in standing for long.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Rome, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St. Peter's Square on Map

Sight Name: St. Peter's Square
Sight Location: Rome, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Vatican Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Colosseum to Pantheon Walking Tour

Colosseum to Pantheon Walking Tour

The say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” and that undoubtedly implies appreciating the enormous historical and architectural richness of the city, often – and rightly so – referred to as “eternal”. Stretching from Colosseum to Pantheon, this 3km-walk invites you to explore the most notable attractions of the Italian capital, including the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and more.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Pinciano Cultural Walk

Pinciano Cultural Walk

Pinciano is the 3rd rione (district) of Rome, it is located in the north of the city, close to the Aurelian walls. Pinciano is home to the Pincio Gardens, an impressive park within the city of Rome. Take this tour to explore the Pinciano rioni and visit such famous sites as the Galleria Borghese, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, National Etruscan Museum, and Bioparco.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Campitelli & St'Angelo Walking Tour

Campitelli & St'Angelo Walking Tour

Campitelli and Sant'Angelo are two of Rome's oldest rioni (districts), they are located at the heart of ancient Rome and are home to the most sought after landmarks; such as the Colosseum, Theater of Marcellus, Temple of Saturn, and Arch of Constantine. Take this tour to explore Campitelli, the tenth rione, and Sant'Angelo, the eleventh and the smallest historic rione of Rome.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Ancient History Walking Tour

Ancient History Walking Tour

The glory of Ancient Rome is known throughout the entire world and each year millions of tourists travel to Rome to visit its ancient sites. Rome's historic center is packed with so many landmarks and works of art, that it would take days to see it all. The following tour offers you a walk by the most remarkable, must see sites in Rome's ancient center.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour

Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour

The Trevi rione (district) of Rome, which is the 2nd rione, is most famous for the Trevi Fountain, as well as for being home to several magnificent public libraries. Colonna is the 3rd rione of Rome and takes its name from the rione's most famous landmark, the Column of Marcus Aurelius in the Piazza Colonna. Colonna is also home to several palazzos, churches and other landmarks.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Campo Marzio Walking Tour

Campo Marzio Walking Tour

Campo Marzio is a historic district of Rome, it covers part of the ancient Campus Martius (Fields of Mars) and is one of the largest amongst the remaining 14 historic districts. Campo Marzio is also the district that most Romans refer to as the city center or downtown of Rome. Each Roman district or "rione" in Italian, has its own ordinal number and coat of arms, as well as fascinating history and breathtaking attractions. Take this tour to explore Campo Marzio, the 4th rione of Rome.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km

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