Our live webcam from Rome’s Piazza Risorgimento offers users an incredible view of St. Peter’s cupola. The dome is the tallest in the world measuring approximately 136 meters in height and circa 41 meters in diameter.
After successive designs by Bramante and Sangallo, in 1547, at the age of 71, Michelangelo, who had taken over the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica, remarkably redesigned the cupola. The maestro, as those before him, left a beautiful wooden model of his design and when he passed, in 1564, construction had only reached the drum. At this point, Pope Sixtus assigned the job to Michelangelo’s pupil, acclaimed Architect Giacomo Della Porta.
In 1590, after 22 months of strenuous work and the efforts of 800 men, Della Porta and Domenico Fontana brought the dome to completion. The result was a glorious work of art. At the base of the cupola, amongst the unbelievably detailed mosaics, a short Latin text reads: “Upon this rock I will build my church”.
Heading to Rome? Tune in to our live cam broadcasting directly from Rome’s Piazza Risorgimento for a preview of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Popular legend narrates that when designing the dome, Michelangelo looked to the Pantheon for inspiration and said: “I could build one bigger, but not more beautiful.”
If you’re asking yourself what the best way to experience the cupola is, the answer is simple: take the 551-step stairway all the way to the top! Beware, it’s no easy climb, but the breathtaking view of Rome from St. Peter’s dome is well worth the “struggle”.