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La Pieta, Vatican City

4.9
#6 of 49 in Things to do in Vatican City
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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A masterpiece of Renaissance art and arguably one of the most moving sculptures ever created, Michelangelo’s La Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus Christ. This statue is the most notable work inside Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Michelangelo was only 24 when he carved this complex work of art from a single slab of marble. He chose to show the Virgin as a youthful woman in repose, rather than the older, grieving Mary of most other works on the same subject. Unique among Michelangelo’s sculptures, this is signed as his own, allegedly to prevent viewers from confusing his work with that of a competing sculptor. Legend has it that Michelangelo broke into the church after finishing his work and hurriedly chiseled his name into the sculpture before anyone noticed he was there. Make La Pieta a centerpiece of your Vatican City vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Vatican City trip planner.
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4,589 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • FREE to visit. Inside St Peter's Basilica. Beautiful and a must see. Exactly like in the pictures and as we imagined. The true definition of a masterpiece. 
    FREE to visit. Inside St Peter's Basilica. Beautiful and a must see. Exactly like in the pictures and as we imagined. The true definition of a masterpiece.  more »
  • After entering St. Peter's Basilica, don't forget to turn right immediately and at the end of it lies Michelangelo's masterpiece, La Pieta. It would've been easy to miss, but the hordes of tourists....  more
    After entering St. Peter's Basilica, don't forget to turn right immediately and at the end of it lies Michelangelo's masterpiece, La Pieta. It would've been easy to miss, but the hordes of tourists....  more »
Google
  • Today I realized one of my dreams which was seeing "la pieta" in real life though it was a little bit disappointing to see that the sculpture was protected by glass. Therefore, you can't see and appreciate the masterpiece within a close distance. It is wonderful to see Michelangelo's genius with this sculpture. He made mother Mary bigger than Jesus so that she can hold him like a little child. A perfect depiction of noble grief of a mother over the death of her son.
  • The only signed statue by Michelangelo (and if you are lucky enough to see David in Florence you can see a "rough draft") that is unfortunately behind glass. Unfortunately, with pressing crowds, it is difficult to get a good look or stay to view/study for any length of time. It is beautiful, life-like, and emotion stirring.

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