St. Peter’s Basilica

551 steps…

From Bridge

 

St.Peter’s Basilica.. One of the highlights of any trip to Rome.. and if you make the climb, one of the best veiws of Rome that can be found anywhere.

Waiting in LineOf course, on the way to the entrance, before you enter the square, you have to deal with the hundreds of of people selling “fast pass” and “skip the line” tickets that range anywhere from 20 to 45 Euros.. The lines ARE usually pretty long but don’t fall for the 2 1/2 to 3 hr wait time they tell you..but be prepared for a 20 minute wait.  The line moves fast and it’s only for security.  The entrance to the actual cathedral is free..

25 Minutes

 

This photo was taken from the end of the line and 22 minutes later we were inside…like I said, it moves pretty fast..

Once you pass security, you have to buy a ticket to the Basilica..the church may be free but the climb up is not.. It will cost 5 Euros to climb all those steps..or 7 Euros to take the elevator to the first level..  Unless you are feeling like you want the whole experience, take the elevator. I have done it both ways and the first 200 steps are pretty boring..nothing to see..just a hall with steps.. a lot of steps..

Up the Stairs

and there are still plenty of steps to enjoy after the lift… My advice.. buy the elevator ticket. Even if you want to climb all the way up, which gives you bragging rights, you can always use the elevator to come back down…

The first level leads up to a walkway around the inside of the dome where you can look into the church below and see the beautiful inside murals on the walls and the dome above. The first time I was here, there was a wire cage that you could actually shoot through.. that has been replaced by plexiglass which was dirty and scratched and darn near impossible to get a shot.. sorry but it’s true.

1st Level Mural 1 Basilica Dome

 

Now the fun part begins.. for the next 100 or so steps… you have the squeeze by people coming down…yep..exit and entrance is the same for this part..

Up More Stairs

 

More Stairs

 

Spiral

 

Eventually…you will make it to the top.. huffing and puffing … but excited ..

From Basilica Dome Piazza di San Pietro

 

 

There is no time limit on how long you can stay and gaze out over the city.. I am not sure if I stayed for 30 minutes because I was captivated by the views or just knew I had to walk back down…probably a little of both..but eventually …..

The second level, on the way down is a broad expanse of flat roof top.. you will find a restroom here, along with a clean water fountain, a small cafe and a gift shop..

and some pretty good views too…

Rooftop of Cathedral Square Curve Rooftop of Cathedral

 

There are also some perfect views of the Basilica itself..

Bottom of the Dome Standing Guard

 

The elevator to ground level is also here..

 

Then down, down, down….

The interior of the cathedral is a work of art… full of paintings and statues and ornate iron and stone work..

After Corridor of Statues Domed Ceiling 1 Entry Hall St. Peter's Gated On the Throne

 

Like I said.. one of the highlights of any trip to Rome..

At the exit is a booth where you can buy tickets to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum…both of which, we skipped this trip..

Now time for some pizza, gelato..and my feet are begging me to rest… Still a long walk exploring this afternoon..

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Photography as Art

Return to Italy

St. Peter's 1st Look B&W

I love visiting Italy… The history… the architecture… the food… Everything about Italy just begs to be explored.

Piazza Maria after the Rain

This was my second trip to Italy, and like the first, it began in Rome … The home of the Coliseum, The Pantheon, Vatican City .. and countless statues and monuments paying tribute to the past of the glorious Roman Empire.

A quick word.. The public transportation system in Rome is hard to beat… so forget the expensive cabs heading to the center from the airport.. The Leonardo Express takes about a 1/2 hour non-stop to Roma Termini..and costs just 12 Euros..Buses are even cheaper but I like trains..

Anyway..we took the above mentioned train from the airport to the main train/bus staion – Roma Termini..

Roma Termini

 

I usually stay in the Mecenate Palace Hotel, which is a 5-8 minute walk from the station.. It’s a nice hotel, excellent staff and a wonderful rooftop terrace where you can look out over the city.. The view from the room, as always, was amazing..  The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore sits right across the street..

Hotel Lobby Mecenate Hotel Entry Out of the Rain

St.Maria Again

                                                      View from our window

It’s a wonderful, if smaller, cathedral and the entry is free..

Arched Ceiling Kneeling in Prayer Santa Maria InteriorIt was a great way to start a trip.. especially since it was raining sporadically since we arrived..But with all the great cafes and museums, it was easy to find a place to stay dry..

Since we arrived late, we decided to just walk around and do some exploring, without worrying about “landmarks” and “touristy sites” ..  Rome is very walkable, despite being very large.. And there are always interesting subjects to shoot..It is a photographer’s dream city..

Framed by Arch Menu Scooter Parking Self Service Tobacco Trash Bike Unusual View

 

Afterwards, we decided to help ourselves to some gelato..and relax.. Tomorrow was going to be a long day…

HAPPY TRAVELS!!

Photography as Art 

 

 

Kyiv – Photo of the Day

Maidan Overlook

The Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv, during happier and much cleaner times.. last summer taken from the hill on Institutska Street. It offers a very nice panoramic view of the city below.  The golden domed building in the center is the bell tower at St. Sophia’s Monastery.