Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican is not just any square. It is one of the most famous squares in the world and constitutes in itself, together with the Basilica of San Pedro and other adjoining buildings, the smallest country in the world.
A country within a city. And a wonder that deserves a detailed visit.
The beautiful square was built thanks to Bernini between 1656 and 1667 and we recommend visiting it (also) at night when it is quiet and illuminated.
On this guided tour you will get to know the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica. The price includes priority tickets, so we will skip the endless queues.
What to see in Saint Peter’s Square
In the Plaza de San Pedro there are numerous points of interest and its immensity gives rise to many places that you should not miss.
The main point of interest is in front of you and you should spend several minutes admiring it.
It is the main façade of Saint Peter ‘s Basilica, the largest basilica in the world.
But we will dedicate a separate chapter to the main Catholic temple, so here we will talk about the rest of the square’s points of interest.
Apart from the façade, the element that stands out the most is the colonnade that forms almost a complete ellipse and surrounds the square.
It consists of 284 columns and 88 pilasters arranged in 4 rows and on which are the statues of 140 saints that were sculpted by Bernini ‘s disciples.
It is really impressive. And you will see it especially if you go up to the dome of the basilica.
Do not stop surprising yourself with the optical effect that Bernini created and that make this square an architectural masterpiece.
If you stand at a point in the square where there is a plaque where it says ” Centro del Colonnato “, and you look towards the colonnade you will simply see a row of columns, since the other 3 will be aligned behind it thanks to a unique optical effect..
If you have already overcome the previous experience, you can admire the rest of the square’s points of interest, such as the 25-meter-high Obelisk.
The Obelisk was brought here from the Circus of Nero in memory of Saint Peter who was martyred in this circus.
On both sides of the obelisk are two fountains, situated at each focus of the ellipse, one built by Benini and the other by Maderno.
The rest of the buildings in the square are also very interesting, although the previous elements outshine them. We can see the Paul VI Hall, the Vatican Post and above all the place where all eyes are directed, the windows of the Pope’s rooms. They are the leftmost windows on the third floor of the first building that we can see if we look to the right of the plaza.
And if you have good eyesight, you could also see the famous chimney of the Sistine Chapel where white or black smoke comes out during the conclaves to elect the Pope. In any case, it has no interest except the symbolic one.