As one of the most popular sites in the Eternal City, St. Peter’s Square draws in crowds to view its stunning architecture, beautiful fountains, and to experience history. The hotels near Piazza S. Pietro (St. Peter’s Square) place you steps from the entrance while still providing easy access to the wealth of attractions and services throughout Rome as well. From cozy bed and breakfasts to elegant suites, the range of accommodations available makes it simple to find a room to fit your tastes or budget.
Piazza S. Pietro (St. Peter’s Square) Through the Ages
The Square as it is known today was designed over the course of a decade in 1656. Designed by the famed Gian Lorenzo Bernini, much of the plaza’s features are still exactly how he designed them nearly 400 years ago. Overseen by Pope Alexander VII, the square was designed to provide the largest viewing area possible for declarations and other events at St. Peter’s Basilica.
The entire design centers on the Egyptian obelisk at the center. Once rumored to contain the ashes of Julius Caesar, the obelisk has resided in Rome since 37 AD when Caligula moved it from nearby Alexandria to the Circus of Nero. In 1586, it found its current placement in St. Peter’s Square. Towering over the grounds, at more than 80 feet tall, the obelisk is visible from many hotels near Piazza S. Pietro (S. Peter’s Square). Small round tiles embedded in the grounds around the obelisk allow it to function as a sundial during clear weather as well.
Other well-known features of the plaza include its Tuscan colonnades that frame the entrance and its twin Fountains of St. Peter’s Square. While the fountains look very similar, the southern fountain was built nearly 50 years after the initial Maderno fountain. Both have inspired similar works around the world, including the Fontaines de la Concorde, in Paris, France.
Things to Do Around Hotels near Piazza S. Pietro (St. Peter’s Square)
St. Peter’s Square offers access to a variety of attractions in and around Vatican City. St. Peter’s Basilica, The Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum are popular favorites, steps from the fountains of the square. The Gardens of the Vatican also offer guided tours of the many fountains, gardens, and sculptures of the private gardens nearby.
Just east of many hotels near Piazza S. Pietro (St. Peter’s Square), you’ll find Castel Sant’Angelo. Dating back to the 2nd century, this castle offers stunning views of St. Peter’s Basilica and the approach to St. Peter’s Square from its roof. You’ll also find an array of art and antiques to enjoy from a wide span of Rome’s rich history.
South of St. Peter’s Square, down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, you’ll find the historic Old Rome. From Piazza Navona and the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, you’ll find a wealth of sites and attractions, spanning thousands of years of history, waiting for you to explore. The area also offers shopping and dining that rivals the best in the city.