Fodor's Expert Review Piazza San Pietro

The Vatican Plaza/Square
Free Fodor's Choice

Mostly enclosed within high walls that recall the papacy's stormy history, the Vatican opens the spectacular arms of Bernini's colonnade to embrace the world only at St. Peter's Square, scene of the pope's public appearances and another of Bernini's masterpieces. The elliptical Piazza di San Pietro was completed in 1667—after only 11 years' work—and holds about 100,000 people.

Surrounded by a pair of quadruple colonnades, the piazza is gloriously studded with 140 statues of saints and martyrs. At its center is the 85-foot-high Egyptian obelisk, which was brought to Rome by Caligula in AD 37 and moved here in 1586 by Pope Sixtus V. The famous Vatican post offices can be found on both sides of St. Peter's Square and inside the Vatican Museums complex. The main information office is just left of the basilica as you face it.

Plaza/Square Free Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Piazza di San Pietro
Rome, Latium  00120, Italy

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