On my last day in Rome and the afternoon of my birthday, I headed back to the Vatican to climb the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. Entering the area to buy tickets for the dome just off the entrance of the basilica, I purchased the €8.00 ticket to use the lift to get partially up to the dome. It's only €2.00 more than the cost of walking the stairs. A lift had not been an option when I climbed the dome of the Duomo di Firenze but I was taking the lift this time plus it was my birthday and on your birthday you can do whatever you like.
The lift takes you up to the base of the dome or cupola. The dome of St. Peter's rises to a total height of 136.57 metres from the floor of the basilica to the top of the external cross. It is the tallest dome in the world. That means once I got to the top minus of course that cross bit, I was on top of the tallest dome in the world.
The dome is made up of mosaics. The photo above is of a cupid made from the mosaics. You cannot tell from the photo below that they are mosaics. They look like paintings. It's amazing. I can only imagine how long it would take to mosaic the dome.
The dome was completed in 1590 after going through a few architects.
It was quite different then climbing the dome of the Florence Cathedral. I much preferred this dome. It was all one way where as in Florence you would have people trying to come down while you were walking up. Very annoying in such a cramped space.
Trying to walk along a hallway with a dome on the right. Not very easy.
Reaching the top of the dome, you get this amazing view of Rome and St. Peter's Square.
Above the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel is in the right hand corner.
Selfies everywhere including the tallest dome in the world.
Looking over the walled Vatican City state, you can see the extent of its buildings, the green grass, the manicured gardens and the Swiss Guard.
I wish the weather had been nicer but I had a great day climbing the dome as well as my morning of exploring the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.