A real and true symbol of the christian world, la Basilica di San Pietro in Rome represents a must-see for anyone decided upon visiting the city. It is, in fact, the largest church in the world and enshrines within itself a very significant symbolic value.
The church was founded by Constantine in the far distant 324 A.D., whilst works which transformed it into the building we see today started back in 1506, in accordance with Bramante’s original project. A long line of high-level artists worked upon the basilica, other than the first project maker, including Raffaello, A. Da Sangallo and Peruzzi. In 1547, it was the turn of Michelangelo, to whom we owe the absidial part as well as the highly-famed dome, an oeuvre of mastodonic proportions and the largest masonic project ever brought to conclusion.
A large flight of stairs leads up to the Basilica, which introduces itself with a majestic facade graced with protruding columns inter-dispersed with windows. The largest window is located in a central position and takes the name of the “Loggia of Benediction”. The atrium, conceived by Maderno, is highly decorated with precious stuccoes and mosaics, amongst which the mosaic composition “La Navicella” by the master Giotto most noticeably stands out. Five large bronze doors also adorn the facade, of which only 4 are habitually in use. La Porta Santa (the “Saints’ door”) is in fact only used on particular occasions of celebration. Once inside the church, the feeling you experience is really something special: the dimensions are imposing and grandiose. Under the luminous decorated dome and above the Papal altar hangs Bernini’s famous bronze baldacchino (“pavilion”). It is a unique piece of work, introduced by enormous columns which proudly soar towards the sky. The statue of St. Peter by A. di Cambio is situated towards the right, the right foot of which has been worn away due to the kisses of millions of believers. La Pieta’, the great marble statue by Michelangelo, is placed in the right hand nave, whilst within the absidial part you can admire the grand bronze throne of St. Peter (designed by Bernini).
Don’t miss visiting the enormous dome: actually, it is possible to reach the top and enjoy, from this position, a beautiful panorama of the Roman capital. That goes without even mentioning the glorious Piazza, with its double colonnade opening up in front of the steps leading up to the church.
For further travel advice regarding the city of Rome please see the following blog. On the other hand, for information on finding a holiday apartment in this area, follow these links: Appartamento Roma, Hotel a Roma, Roma alloggio.