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Anyone been to St. Peter's Basilica recently?

We will be in Rome mid-September. We have reservations for the Vatican Museums at 12:30 on a Tuesday, want to do St. Peter's beforehand, and are trying to figure out what time we should be there. All recommendations from the "before times" suggest getting to St. Peter's when they open in order to avoid the lines, but I'm wondering if that is still the case. I want to allow 2 hours at St. Peter's because we may climb the dome. Anyone know what the crowds have been like around 9:00-9:30 am? Thanks!

Posted by
4058 posts

I follow the "Catholic Traveler" and "Romewise" on Facebook. Both are based in Rome. You could facebook message them to ask if there isn't anyone on the forum that would know.

Posted by
1502 posts

My daughter and husband were in Rome three weeks ago. They said they did not face significant lines anywhere. St. Peter’s square was practically empty.

Posted by
4058 posts

I thought if something else. There is a woman married to a Swiss Guard, worked for and lived in the Vatican. TravelAngel. I think she blogs, but I follow her in Facebook. She has written a short, inexpensive guide to the Vatican you might like.

Posted by
218 posts

I was there twice in August, once around 5pm and once around 3pm. Hardly any line either time.

Posted by
226 posts

I was there on Saturday morning at that time and climbed the dome but did not enter the museum. Spent about 5-10 minutes in line to go through the TSA-like process to enter the basilica. There were a few tour groups but the place is huge so felt relatively empty. No line to buy dome tickets and there were people at the top but not too many. Afterwards I went to the Vatican post office and it had only a few people in it. Be aware that if you opt for the elevator to the dome there are still about 155 steps involved afterwards!
Cynthia

Posted by
7787 posts

Edit-

Original comment deleted as it was deemed unhelpful and irrelevant.

Posted by
22 posts

Well, joe32F, Rick Steves himself, in his Rome guidebook, states to allow “one hour, plus another hour if you climb the dome.” But, thanks for your helpful input.

Posted by
110 posts

Anna- just understand that Rick underestimates his time on some cultural sites (Museums, Art Galleries)...it is written for hmmmm I need to careful with words here .... for folks who want to see a lot with a limited amount of time available to them so his estimates are minimums. The amount of time you spend will obviously be influenced by your personal interests. My last trip to Paris was for 3 weeks; a tour then 2 weeks on my own. That tour included a rushed 90 min tour of the Louvre....just the high spots. One couple on that tour said "wow, that was wonderful" and left the Louvre directly after the tour ended. Most of the rest of the group stayed and really "saw" the museum. Over that 3 week period I spent 6 days inside the Louvre; and still I haven't seen it all. But for 'that' couple, 90 minutes was enough for them. During my travels I have been in Saint Peter's 4 times. I've never spent less then an hour there and I've yet to climb to the top of the dome. Your milage may vary.

Posted by
22 posts

Dplaunderville, that is exactly my point…how can anyone else assume how long I want to spend somewhere and how much of it I want to see? Joe (1) didn’t answer the specific question I asked; and (2) gave me a completely snarky and unhelpful reply. Personally, I would never spend 6 days at the Louvre because I don’t feel the need to “see it all.” But, I wouldn’t criticize you on a public forum for your choice to do so. You do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll both be happy.