Panorama Photo of St. Peter's Square
of St. Peter's Square
Webcam of St. Peter's Square
Via della Conciliazione is the street
leading to Saint Peter's Square.
Square was originally square and was redesigned in 1656 by
Gianlorenzo Bernini under commission from Pope Alexander VII who wanted the pope
to be seen from the loggia of Saint Peter's and
from a window in the pope's quarters.
The pope can now be seen from the window of his private library during his Wednesday
morning general audiences. Bernini added a circular
colonnade and two fountains.
The ellipse at St. Peter's Square symbolizes the Catholic
Church's embrace of the world.
The Egyptian obelisk at the center of St. Peter's Square is from Nero's Circus where Saint Peter was crucified upside down.
palms are from the Italian town of Bordighera to honor one of its citizens who saved the 85-foot obelisk from falling
during construction of St. Peter's Square.
St. Peter's Square was
designed to hold 300,000 people.
Posted in St. Peter's Square is a dress code to enter
Saint Peter's Basilica: Uncovered shoulders and adults wearing shorts are
climbing the 349 steps to the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica from the roof
to view Michelangelo's
for coffee, water, soda, or ice cream at the rooftop coffee bar.
another rooftop shop - run by the sisters of the Disciples of the Divine
Master - to purchase a rosary, postcard, or
De Ritis shop on
Via dei Cestrari in Rome sells ecclesiastical clothes.
XVI said the Vatican museums are a "sanctuary of art and faith,"
and entreated the museum staff to be warm and friendly.
entrance fee is €14. The Vatican Museums offer free admission the
last Sunday of the month and are closed all other Sundays.
Tickets for the Wednesday,
11:00 A. M., papal audience are free and may be obtained from
the Office of the Prefettura of the Papal Household. Telephone:
698.83865 Fax: 698.85863
Visiting Italy? Stay in a convent
Three years ago, under Rome's Via
Triumphalis, during construction of the Santa Rosa parking facility, a
necropolis was found and is now open to the public on Fridays and
Saturdays by reservation for €5. According to Francesco Buranelli
and Vatican Radio, "...a complete image of Roman society from the age
of Augustus to that of Constantine where the tombs of noblemen and those
of poorer people coexist...about 250 tombs of the 1st to 4th
Century after Christ which offer a complete image of imperial Rome's
society and especially of the gradual conversions of Roman society from
paganism to Christianity which for the Holy See is, undoubtedly, of
primary importance. We have saved all that was ancient which was
brought to light. Of course we then restored the structures, the
material, and put back in place that which was in a lying position, but
not that which was in the deposit terrain."
The Mausoleum of the Valerii, one of 22
family mausoleums beneath St. Peter's Basilica, has been restored.
Partly funded by Mercedes-Benz, Maria Cristina Stella, who is an officer
at Fabbrica di San Pietro, the department at the Vatican responsible for
maintenance, said, "We had wanted to restore it for a long time, but
we didn't have the money. Now we're extremely happy."
Watch out for pickpocket children on the
No. 64 bus from the Termini train station in Rome to the Vatican.
Which country had the highest crime rate
in the world during 2006? Vatican City! Vatican City's Promoter of Justice
(the attorney general), Monsignor Nicola Picardi, released the following
figures: 341 civil and 486 criminal cases for a Vatican City population of
492. This is 1.5 cases per person which is 20 times the crime rate for
Italy! Pickpocketing of tourists is the most frequent crime.
Newlywed couples can be seated in the
front row of a general audience at the Vatican after receiving special
tickets requested by their pastor. At the end of the general
audience, the pope will personally greet and bless the couple and present
them with a blessed rosary. Traditionally, couples dress in their
Visiting Saint Mark's Basilica in
Venice, Italy? Cover shoulders and knees. Venetian police are
patrolling Saint Mark's Square and issuing fines to poorly-dressed and
Visitors to the Piazzale Roma in Venice
will be handed a kit containing a plastic bottle with the slogan
"Don't throw me away; reuse me," and a map of Venice's 122
drinking fountains. Venice receives almost 19 million visitors a year each
leaving plastic bottles behind.
Built by Pope Alexander VI in 1503,
after a ten-year restoration, the papal dungeons/prisons at Castel
Sant'Angelo, the pope's summer residence are reopening only at night so as
to enhance the experience. Guides will recount stories of some of
the famous prisoners including Florentine Renaissance master painter
Benvenuti Cellini who was imprisoned at Castel Sant'Angelo for one year
for killing his brother's murderer.
Rome is building a new 15.5 mile subway
which is expected to be completed in 2015. After years of tug-o-war
between archeologists and subway engineers, the two camps have reached an
accord. A series of ancient taverns have been unearthed so
far. Italy and Greece have strict preservation laws.
Marking the celebration of the Feast of
Saint Anthony the Abbot, farmers brought their animals to Saint Peter's
Square to be blessed by Cardinal Angelo Comastri: Catholic News
Service reports a "donkey and her baby, a water buffalo and her calf,
a skittish ostrich, a large white boar, rabbits and baby bunnies, hens and
geese, milk cows, a horse and a steer, sheep, lambs and goats."
A large dumpster was on hand.
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