Commissioned to mark the funeral of Cardinal Jean de Billheres in 1498, the statue of La Pieta is one of many pieces of art within Vatican City to be produced by the famous Italian artist Michelangelo. Housed at St Peter’s Basilica, the sculpture is made from Carrara marble and depicts Lord Jesus being held by Mary following his crucifixion. The sculpture has been damaged over the years, most notably when vandalized in the 70’s by notorious Australian geologist Laszlo Toth – although having since being restored, the statue is now viewed from behind a protective glass panel.
Vatican City itself is a sovereign state, although as there are no border controls you are free to access from elsewhere in Italy. Nearest airports are Ciampino and Fiumicino which are both 30km away. Cipro Station is the nearest Metro line, or busses are frequent from around the city. Expect long queues for St Peter’s Basilica to see La Pieta, with opening times from 7am to 7pm (October to March closing at 6pm). Ticket prices vary on how many people you are with, or if you have a combination ticket with other attractions within the Vatican.
Avoid the queues by booking your entry to St Peter’s Basilica and La Pieta in advance. There are various deals available online, so book a combination ticket and include other destinations within Vatican City. When in St Peter’s Basilica the dome is also worth venturing up, although there is an additional €8 charge. Hire a Vatican approved tour guide for your journey and find out more than just about La Pieta. Whilst the Vatican welcomes those of all faiths and believes, there is a dress code for the area so be mindful as to dress appropriately and if in doubt check what others are wearing before you leave.
Choose from a number of holiday homes, villas and apartments, private rentals and other places to stay near to Vatican City. With most tourists choosing to walk around Rome on foot, or use the public transport, it is easy to arrive at St Peter’s Basilica and to see La Pieta. Check our accommodation in Rome.
Whilst viewing La Pieta also be sure to visit Saint Peter’s Tomb. As the church makes up part of Vatican City extend your stay to include the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Rome is also famous for its ancient ruins and the Colosseum or when walking around the city stop off at the beautiful Trivi Fountain.
Find out more about La Pieta, including the history, its representation of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, the artist Michelangelo and other statues and paintings of La Pieta by visiting here.
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