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La Pieta, Vatican City

4.8
#6 of 34 in Things to do in Vatican City
Monument Tourist Spot
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. Add La Pieta and other attractions to your Vatican City trip itinerary using our Vatican City trip builder.
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  • La Pieta is on the right hand side just inside the entrance to the Basilica. She's behind bullet proof glass and you may have to wait a while to get to the front of the crowds wanting to see her but i...  more »
  • Just as I imagined it, gorgeous. I was behind a glass but if you expected a little you could get to ringside to appreciate the beauty of La Pietà.
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  • Really perfect, at the entrance, you coming in on the right side of the Basilica of St. Peter. Michelangelo was really inspired.
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