Climbing Up To The Cupola Of St. Peters Basllica, Vatican City

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No matter how you decide to go, you will get a lot of exercise. Option one is to climb the entire 551 steps to the top. Option two ( my choice) you cut the trip down to 320 steps. Most people took the elevator to the 320 step route. Hours are from 08:00 – 17:00   from October to March 31st.  From April to September 30th, it is open till 18:00. Keep in mind, it is a climb and make sure you are in reasonable physical condition.

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It gets a little tight on the staircase.

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On the way up there are several viewing locations.

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This was an early morning visit in September..

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As I zoom into the mosaics the details will become visible.

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How detailed they are.

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Now on to the top.

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360 degree views of Vatican City and Rome

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Many details of the basilica become visible when you are on top.

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At the end of the trip catch the stairs to the elevator an complete your tour of the basilica at your leisure.  The rope serves as a handrail.

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Cost for your excursion is 5 Euros if you climb, and 7 if you wish to take the partial ride in the elevator. I arrived at about 08:15 with no lines. It was worth the climb. Look for the signs directing you to the cupola as you enter and there will be a ticket booth.

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