St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
The construction of this basilica started in 1506 and ended in 1626 under several famous architects: Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini.
St. Peter's grave is said to be located under the center of the church, and you may visit the graves of all the former popes, including St. Peter's relics, located in a giant crypt under the four-poster.
The most popular wonder is immediately on the right of the entry: the "Pietà" by Michelangelo, a white marble statue depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus. The Virgin is unusually youthful and calm compared to other pietas in which she is depicted older and distraught. Michelangelo wanted to underline the Virgin beauty rather than her sadness and Jesus seems older and smaller than Mary. The "Pieta" is the only sculpture Michelangelo ever signed, and you can see his name carved into the sash crossing Mary's breast.
If you wish to visit the cupola there is an elevator, but the wait is often several hours. Although the view is breathtaking, another impressive view is from the Vittoriano, which is much less crowded and offers views of this basilica.
The visit is free inside is free, and the long line usually moves faster than expected. You can expect to spend about an hour inside, but try to avoid Sundays and Christian celebrations, when the building is closed or overcrowded.