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The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs

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RM, Italy
The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs
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Safety measures
icon2 hours  (approx.)
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iconOffered in: English and 3 more


Combine several of Rome's most-visited highlights—climbing St. Peter's Dome and the interior of the Basilica  on a single tour with a guide. You'll also get the rare chance to visit the the papal crypts and the vatacombs, stops that aren't typically included on standard tours. This tour includes a lot of stairs, and although there are plenty of rest breaks, it is best for those in decent physical shape. As you explore the sites, you'll learn about the Vatican's history and religious significance.
  • Climb the stairs to the top of St. Peter's Basilica dome
  • Comprehensive tour with a guide teaches travelers about the history and religious meaning
  • Access to the papal crypts and vatacombs
  • Art historian guide provides expert commentary
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Unique experience at the summit of St. Peter's Dome with an expert Vatican tour guide
Take your time to reach the top with some stairs but mostly elevator!
Incredible views of Rome and far beyond which most visitors to the Vatican never see
Fast track entrance then comprehensive guided tour of the remarkable structures inside St. Peter's
Be left bereft by astonishing works of art and architecture
Wander around peaceful Papal sarcophagi to conclude
Food and drink
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Largo del Colonnato, 1 , Largo del Colonnato, 1, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

Meet at 745am for 8am departure by the Tiare fountain (Fontana delle Tiare), just beneath Largo del Colonnato and in front of the pillars which run around Saint Peter's Square. · Your guide will be holding a When in Rome Tours signboard. Google maps link:

8:00 AM
Piazza Papa Pio XII, 1 , Piazza Papa Pio XII, 1, 00193 Roma RM, Italy

The tour concludes on St. Peter's Square beside St. Peter's Basilica.

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
  • On days immediately surrounding religious holidays at the Vatican, alterations to tours may become necessary due to partial closings of areas normally included in this tour. In the event that the Papal tombs beneath St. Peter's Basilica are closed, the tour of the Basilica itself will be extended and no refunds made
  • Dome climb is a moderate+ exertion activity undertaken in a short space of time. Please be aware of this before you book
  • Bring a small bottle of water with you for dome climb
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Maximum 20 travelers on this tour, hand sanitizer made available (we will provide), mandatory mask-wearing on the tour (bring your own)
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY When In Rome Tours by Italia Tours llc
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs.
What is the policy on sanitization during The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs.
What is the social distancing policy during The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by The Original St. Peter's Dome Climb, Basilica & Vatacombs.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

  • "Upon entrance to the main square, you will need your passport for clearance." See review
  • "Stairs were exhausting and a bit claustrophobic , but hey, when in Rome!" See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews


99 Reviews
2 stars

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 99 reviews
Interesting, informative tour of St. Peters
, Jul 2022
Great tour. Sandra shared a wealth of knowledge that made the history of the Vatican come alive for us. The dome climb was such a great experience, difficult on a 97 degree day, but the view from the upper level was well worth the effort. Her insight into the art, relics, historical figures was exceptional. She kept the tour moving, on time, and allowed for appropriate breaks. I highly recommend!
Let’s climb a dome!
, Jun 2022
We had a great time with our tour guide, who is an Art History professor at American University of Rome. He speaks perfect English (thank goodness). Just a great time! We really enjoyed the dome climb!
icon Response from Host , Jun 2022
Thank you so much for this review! We are really happy to read that the guided tour was so appreciated! We hope that your stay in Rome was great as well! Warmest regards
We really enjoyed the...
, Apr 2022
We really enjoyed the tour inside St. Peter’s, especially the stories around the statues and other works of art. Paolo was an excellent guide.
Great experience, but not recommended if claustrophobic.
, Mar 2022
This was our second time visiting the Vatican City - first time climbing the dome and touring the catacombs. Guide, Paola, was excellent. Tight stairwells and steep ascents to the dome - if you’re claustrophobic even a little bit, this may not be your favorite tour. Skip the dome.
Rome from above and St Peter what else to ask for
, Jan 2022
Early morning we met our guides from When in Rome and given the radio. Marianne was a fantastic tour guide, sharing her in depth knowledge of history and art with us, and made sure we were all fine. We entered with very short line at the security check then straight to the dome. It's a bit hard to climb but worth it to have a very close look at the mosaics and then outside to fantastic views of Rome, Vatican museums and gardens. After the dome we visited the basilica, again Marianne gave us a fantastic tour, explaining the most memorable work of art inside the church and vatacombs. After the tour we could stay in to see some more, I do recommend to see the treasure museum.
Amazing views and wonderful experience
Linda V
, Aug 2019
Intriguing attraction and somewhat challenging. Stairs were exhausting and a bit claustrophobic , but hey, when in Rome! The guide was extremely knowledgeable and answered any questions we had. Amazing views of Rome and of the Pope's private railway station and helicopter pad. It's crazy to see the dome from the ground and know we were way up there! Can't say I would do this again but glad I did it.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Hi Linda! This is a very popular tour and for good reason :) Thanks for touring with us! When In Rome Tours
Missing Tour Operator?
, Jul 2019
We came at scheduled departure time as there was no instruction to show up early. Could not find the tour operator (When in Rome Tours). We called the phone number provided 2x to no avail. It rang and hung up right away. So we disputed this tour and did it on our own, realizing we were gravely overcharged.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2019
Dear Julie, Simple instructions about arriving at the meeting point 15 minutes ahead of tour departure time were provided in your confirmation voucher when you booked. The voucher does of course include phone numbers to call AND our WhatsApp number in case of lostness or lateness. That you only called twice and were "hung up" on indicates that there was no degree of urgency and that you entered an incorrect number on your dialpad. We have over 2,300 reviews here on TripAdvisor and our reputation is not in question. Readers, please disregard this review as it is about a client not paying due attention to voucher information - nothing else. When In Rome Tours
1 traveler found this review helpful
, Jun 2019
Guide was decent, friendly, but must have been new. Another guide showed us how to skip the security line after we waited in the rain for a while. The tour was great, the balcony in St Peter’s was amazing being that close to the mosaics.
Best vacation EVER!
, May 2019
My husband and I booked this tour before leaving the states. I'm glad we did! The best tour guides not only know the details, they have the dramatic approach that keeps things interesting. "Claire", who has a much cooler name than Claire, but calls herself that for those of us who forget her real name, was that person for us. This tour takes you from an elevator ride, to the steps that take you within the dome of St Peter's. From the very top, overlooking Rome, to the bottom Vatacombs/catacombs. We learned a lot and enjoyed ourselves. For those afraid of heights, which I am, it's enclosed and there are ways to see the top by sitting back a little further. Trust me, if I did it, you can too. WORTH IT! (Upon entrance to the main square, you will need your passport for clearance. If you have an early tour, the line was quick. As we left, there were hundreds in line)
icon Response from Host , May 2019
Thank you Dawn for writing this excellent review! We're happy know that our guides (such as CHIARA:) continue to provide top notch service and that your tour of the Vatican was second to none! It was a pleasure having you with us.
, May 2022
Sarah notre guide était captivante dans ses explications et dans sa manière de partager son savoir ! Merci à elle 🔥

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