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St. Peter's Basilica and Dome Audio Guide

Marvel at the masterpiece that took centuries and ruffled a few artists' feathers
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1 at US$10
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Audio Guide Details
1 hour 30 minutes
Product Type
Audio Guide
St. Peter's Basilica
Preview St. Peter's Basilica and Dome Audio Guide
Welcome to St Peter's with Context
Delve into Michelangelo's deep connection with St. Peter's Basilica
Uncover the construction of the Canopy
Photos & Highlights
Audio Guide Description
Join Context art historians Valentina Ansuini and Frank Dabell as they reveal the little-known tales behind the world’s grandest church, St. Peter's Basilica. On this self-paced journey through the world's largest church, you'll be awestruck by Michelangelo’s Pieta, Bernini’s Baldacchino (bronze canopy), and the monumental tributes to influential leaders who shaped history and are honored in monuments here. You'll learn about the construction of the dome by the creator, Michelangelo, who was responsible for two-thirds of the dome but never saw it come to fruition and discover how this multi-skilled painter, architect and sculpture was so tied to the Vatican structures. And if you are up for a climb, we will take in the breathtaking views from the highest point in Rome's city center. 

Starting in St Peter's Square, you'll find out about the church's creation, and how it became the symbol of religious devotion and architectural splendor that it is today. As part two of our three-part Vatican audio guide series, you'll dive deep into the heart of Vatican City and the extensive evolution of this St. Peter’s Basilica. From the lavish villa Emperor Caligula built for Agrippina in the first century to the brilliance of Michelangelo's architectural genius, every step of our journey reveals the rich tapestry of history woven within these walls. You'll discover the fascinating clash of artistic vision as Michelangelo’s towering dome meets Bernini's Baroque embellishments, and you'll even learn a local Roman secret: The Pope repurposed bronze from the Pantheon so Bernini could finish crafting his masterpiece! You'll have the choice to ascend to the top of the dome and as you do, you'll be able to take in the intricate mosaics that echo the enduring symbolism of Peter, the “rock” St Peter stands on, and marvel at the breathtaking panorama of Rome’s city center.
Along the way, you'll have a chance to:
  • Admire the architectural marvel that took centuries to complete and stands as a testamenta to the billrance of luminaries including Bramante, Michelangelo, and Bernini to bring to life
  • Hear the heroic stories behind influential leaders immortalized in the monuments, from the from the very first pope, Saint Peter, to the 20th century Pope John Paul II
  • Marvel at masterpieces including Michelangelo’s Pietà, a testament to his technical mastery and extraordinary capacity to sculpt emotion out of cold marble
  • Choose to climb the the dome's summit to enjoy a panoramic view that brings Rome to life
  • Learn how Gianlorenzo Bernini's mission to decorate the interior of the Basilica  led to hiring a team of over 200 artisans for 20 years 
  • Uncover the huge obelisk in the middle of the square’s story as a a silent witness to Christianity, the terrible persecutions carried out by Nero and the Apostle Peter's death
  • Unlock the secrets hidden in the bronze door cast by Filarete where the  history of Christianity, such as martyrdom of Saint Paul and Saint Peter, are etched in a timeless splendor  
  • Discover how emperor Nero held a circus in a large elliptical stadium where the Basilica now stands

This self-guided audio tour promises to enrich your Vatican City visit, providing unparalleled insights into the timeless splendor of the world’s largest church. Join us as we unravel the mysteries of St. Peter's Basilica, where every corner tells a story and every step echoes with the footsteps of monumental characters in history. And be sure to listen to our Vatican Museums and Castel Sant’Angelo audio guides for the  complete Vatican experience. 

*Please note that the Pietà will be closed for viewing until the end of September 2024. 
How do I access the audio guide and download it for offline use?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive a voucher code for your Audio Guide. You must download the Voicemap app and enter the code. 
  1. Install VoiceMap from the Apple App Store or Google Play
  2. Create an account
  3. Select Tour Codes from the menu, then select Enter Codes
  4. Enter your Voucher Code
  5. Select Download Now
Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our audio guides have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded audio guides typically run for 75 minutes.

How can I share this audio guide with friends or family?
You are welcome to listen together with friends or family, but each person listening to the guide on their own device will need to purchase the audio guide individually.

How long does my access to the audio guide last?
Once you purchase an audio guide, you are welcome to listen to it as many times as you would like. Your access to a purchased audio guide does not expire.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Sales for recorded audio guides are final upon purchase. Please contact us at digital@contexttravel.com if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.