Don’t try to visit St. Peter’s in late June. Seriously. The crowds are insane. Every time we have tried to go, the line to get into the basilica has wrapped all the way around the piazza. In the sun. We are talking an hour’s wait or more I can’t even imagine what it will be like in July when the season hits it’s peak!
We tried to go in the morning, but the line was just too much. Instead we ate pizza and wandered along the edge of the Tiber for a while. We returned in late afternoon and decided to just bite the bullet (our days in Rome are numbered now!) After a good 45 minutes wait, we were in. And of course it was worth it. The light on the doors to the underworld was perfection, and as they closed down for the night and ushered everyone out the front doors, we hung back a little and were the last people to leave. That’s pretty special.
The one thing we weren’t able to was climb the cupola, but the guard told us if we came back at 7am there wouldn’t be a line. Raymond had to teach, but the kids and I managed to get ourselves out of bed the next morning and across to St. Peter’s just as they opened the doors and started letting people in! And we did it! We climbed to the top! Ok. In the interest of honesty, I took the elevator for the first 200 some steps (which turned out to be the easy, wide steps – the scary, twisty, narrow steps are the last 350 up to the very top!) It was terrifying and amazing and I am SO glad we did it.