551 Steps to the Best Views in Rome

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Rome is a beautiful city with sites to see around every corner. Before I left, everyone loved to tell me that I could live in Rome my entire life and still not see everything.

I finally believe them.

In an effort to see as much of Rome as I could (and to maybe catch a sneaky glimpse of the Pope walking in the gardens), I decided I would take the trek up to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica. After paying my 6 euro to get in, I started my hike upwards. In total, there are 551 steps- a great workout for those who haven’t been to a gym since going abroad! If you don’t want the full workout, you can skip 320 of those steps and take an elevator for 2 euro more.

The first landing is at the base of the inside of St. Peter’s dome. This allowed for an up-close look at the work of Michelangelo.

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Art is Everywhere

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And centuries old

After this, there are 221 more narrow, winding steps up to the cupola on top of the dome. (Pro-tip: don’t go when it is 93 F outside with a backpack on while wearing black… it gets very hot!) Once you reach the top, you will get a 360-degree view of Rome. It can get a little crowded during peak hours so try to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon!

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Top of the world

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Behind the Vatican Facade

On the way back down, there are restrooms, water fountains, a small osteria (a little restaurant!), and a gift shop run by some lovely nuns- and yes, they do speak English! You can either take the stairs or the elevator to the bottom, but I recommend the stairs. On the walls, there are plaques with the names of all the famous men and women who have walked down the same stairs you are on! At the end, you exit right into the nave of St. Peter’s to continue exploring this amazing basilica.

Enjoy the view!

Olivia Ferri is the Fall 2017 CEA MOJO Photographer in Rome, Italy. She is currently a Junior studying Business Management and Theology at Providence College.

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