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St. Peter's Square
Vacation Travel Guide

The open-air heart of the Catholic world, Piazza San Pietro is at the pinnacle of religious architecture, especially as the sun sets.

There’s only one way you should approach the Piazza San Pietro: head directly up the Via della Conciliazione to come face-to-face with the majestic dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Once you are standing in the piazza, better known as St. Peter’s Square, you will be in no doubt that you are at the very center of the smallest state in the world.

The piazza as it is today is the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The Baroque architect was appointed in the mid-17th century to create a space that would allow the greatest number of people to see the pope as he made public addresses from the Vatican Palace. Every Easter Day, the Piazza San Pietro is still thronged by pilgrims who turn out to witness the pope deliver his annual message. In reality, there is rarely a quiet day at the piazza.

The key is to take your time to pick out the points of interest you wish to see. Positioned right at the core of the piazza is the Egyptian obelisk, more than 82-feet (25-meter) tall and crafted out of red granite. It’s claimed that the obelisk was moved by Caligula in the year 37 from Alexandria to the Circus of Nero, a brutal theater of death games and crucifixions, which stood on the current site of the piazza. This is also the spot where St. Peter’s life ended at the hands of the Romans. There’s a striking painting of his martyrdom by Caravaggio in the Cerasi Chapel.

Forming the elliptical shape of the piazza are the towering, four-deep colonnades, which are ingeniously positioned to create an optical illusion. Looking just above the colonnades, you will see a multitude of statues, a collection of saintly figures including St. John the Baptist and Christ the Redeemer. St. Peter himself occupies a position to the right-hand side of the steps leading to the basilica, and was sculpted by Giuseppe De Fabris. He is faced on the other side by St. Paul.

St. Peter's Square is in central Rome. You can walk there from the city center; the most direct route is to cross the Tiber and walk straight up Via della Conciliazione. The Metro train station Ottaviano is a short walk away along Via Ottaviano.

Top Hotels Close to St. Peter's Square

Albergo Del Senato
Albergo Del Senato
3 out of 5
Piazza Della Rotonda 73, Rome, RM
The price is $137 per night from Feb 7 to Feb 8

Located in Navona, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Trevi Fountain and Piazza di Spagna are also within 15 minutes. Spagna ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (995 reviews)

"Amazing view of the Pantheon and the staff were very friendly"…"

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2020

Albergo Del Senato
Hotel 87 Eighty-Seven - Maison D'Art Collection
Hotel 87 Eighty-Seven - Maison D'Art Collection
4 out of 5
Via del Tritone 87-89, Rome, Rome
The price is $58 per night from Feb 22 to Feb 23

This family-friendly Rome hotel is located in the historical district, steps from Via del Tritone, Via Veneto, and Piazza Barberini. Piazza di Spagna and Trevi ...

4.1/5Very Good! (790 reviews)

"Hotel location is excellent, rooms on the small size and"…"

Reviewed on Oct 5, 2020

Hotel 87 Eighty-Seven - Maison D'Art Collection
Vatican Style
Vatican Style
Via del Mascherino 46, Rome
The price is $72 per night from Feb 22 to Feb 23

Located in Vatican, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Via Cola di Rienzo and St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel are ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (132 reviews)

"Good i lovd it i highly recommend this place very beautiduk and clean place"…"

Reviewed on Feb 14, 2020

Vatican Style
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top St. Peter's Square Flight + Hotel Deals

The Glam
The Tribune Hotel
Monti Palace Hotel
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Best Lodging Options Near St. Peter's Square

Albergo Del Senato
Albergo Del Senato
3 out of 5
Piazza Della Rotonda 73, Rome, RM
The price is $137 per night from Feb 7 to Feb 8
Albergo Del Senato
Hotel 87 Eighty-Seven - Maison D'Art Collection
Hotel 87 Eighty-Seven - Maison D'Art Collection
4 out of 5
Via del Tritone 87-89, Rome, Rome
The price is $58 per night from Feb 22 to Feb 23
Hotel 87 Eighty-Seven - Maison D'Art Collection
Vatican Style
Vatican Style
Via del Mascherino 46, Rome
The price is $72 per night from Feb 22 to Feb 23
Vatican Style
The Pope's Window
The Pope's Window
Via delle Fornaci 44, Rome, RM
The price is $92 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
The Pope's Window
Jacuzzi Rooms
Jacuzzi Rooms
Viale Giulio Cesare 183, Rome
The price is $39 per night from Jan 26 to Jan 27
Jacuzzi Rooms
NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento
NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento
5 out of 5
Piazza Dei Cinquecento, 90, Rome
The price is $149 per night from Jan 31 to Feb 1
NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
5 out of 5
Via Alberto Cadlolo 101, Rome, RM
The price is $252 per night from Feb 22 to Feb 23
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Hotel Sant' Anna
Hotel Sant' Anna
3 out of 5
via borgo pio 134, Rome, RM
The price is $142 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
Hotel Sant' Anna
Atlante Star Hotel
Atlante Star Hotel
4 out of 5
Via Giovanni Vitelleschi 34, Rome, RM
The price is $79 per night from Jan 27 to Jan 28
Atlante Star Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.