One of the lasting symbols of Christianity, St. Peter's Square is a focal point of the Catholic faith. Although the enormous St. Peter's Basilica is the highlight of the piazza, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the piazza itself before entering the church. The circular colonnade that partly encloses the piazza was built by Bernini and is topped with about 140 saints. When you are facing the church, the Papal apartments are on the right hand side, as is the window where the Pope will make his weekly appearance. Two fountains add to the sounds of the crowd that is undoubtedly joining you on your visit to the piazza.
There are a number of resources in St. Peter’s Square that will help you to organize your visit to the Vatican. The Vatican Tourist Office is located at the left hand side of the piazza as you're facing the church. They can sell you a map of the Vatican, help you to make reservations for tours of the Vatican gardens, tell you how to get tickets for a papal audience and give you the schedule for the shuttle that will take you to the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Take the shuttle instead of walking – not only is the walk long, but it is a boring trudge along the outer walls. The shuttle lets you relax and catch sight of the gardens as well.
Address: Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City
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