This awe inspiring cathedral is the spiritual center of Catholics around the world. Millions of pilgrims still make a journey to the church every year. Staggering in size, it was the largest church in the world until a larger imitation of it was recently built in the Ivory Coast. As you walk down the center aisle, look for the notations that mark the relative size of the world's other great cathedrals – and be amazed at how St Peter's outstrips them all. Filled with sights to see, you could spend many hours enjoying the treasures of this church. As you first enter, look to the right to see one of the first and most magnificent creations of Michelangelo – the Pieta.
The glorious sculpture of the Madonna cradling the body of Jesus is incredibly lifelike. You won't be able to get as close to the piece as you might like because it has been surrounded by bulletproof glass since a violent attack against the work in 1978. Next, head to the tomb of St. Peter, covered by the intricately carved canopy called the Baldacchino, which was created by the great Bernini. If you're feeling fit and are not claustrophobic, you can climb to the cupola for a fantastic view of Rome and the rest of the Vatican grounds. An elevator is available for a small fee, but you must still face 330 stairs after the elevator takes you as high as it goes. Save some energy though, because still to visit are the treasury or Historical-Artistic Museum and the tombs in the grottoes and the necropolis.
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