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St Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)

St Peter's Basilica © Darren & Brad
St Peter's Basilica © Darren & Brad

The Basilica lies above the reputed site of St Peter's tomb, containing notable sculptures including Michelangelo's Pieta. In the central aisle stands Arnolfo da Cambio's bronze statue of St Peter, its foot worn down by the constant flow of pilgrims' kisses. Proudly resting above the papal altar is Bernini's Throne of St Peter. The Vatican Grottoes, containing papal tombs, can be reached by steps from the statue of St Longinus. This is the legendary site of St Peter's tomb and advance permission has to be obtained to view it. Tours of the Necropolis, called the Scavi Tour, take about 90 minutes and are fascinating.

Address: Piazza San Pietro

Website: www.stpetersbasilica.info/contacts.htm

Opening times: Open daily from 7am to 7pm (April to September), and 7am to 6pm (October to March).