If you’re planning on coming to the Vatican City soon, you’ll want to learn about all the attractions and historical museums and sites that the area is offering. A few words about the museums, churches, and lodging that you’ll want to know more about before your Vatican City visit.
Where Is the Vatican?
Taking a tour of the city will require about half a day, so make sure that you have plenty of time in the day to visit all the sites that you’ve been reading about. You’ll see breathtaking buildings like the Church of Santa Susanna, which is the American Catholic Church in Rome; you can contact the bishop’s office for ticket reservations and a tour schedule. You can also visit St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus. The event is hosted by the Pope if he is not at Castel Gandolfo, which is the Pope’s summer residence.
One more thing you might like to do during your Vatican City visit is going to the Room of Constantine. The room is usually used for weddings and receptions and was dedicated by the artists who were part of the school of Raphael. The room is named after the first Christian emperor to recognize the entire Christian faith officially, which granted citizens the freedom of worship.
Four episodes of Constantine’s life are painted on each of the walls of the room: the Vision of the Cross, The Donation of Rome, The Baptism of Constantine, and the Battle of Constantine against Maxentius. The artwork is intricate and breathtaking, and you can spend hours in the room observing all the lifelike details.
Vatican City Italy
You Vatican City visit won’t be complete without a trip to a couple of museums. The Gregorian Egyptian Museum is a wonderful place to learn about how Catholic and Christian principles have affected the culture and practices of Egypt, and you’ll also learn how Gregorian influence is still a major part of the Catholic faith.
The Missionary-Ethnological Museum will teach you more about the individuals who have earned the honor of being called ‘saints’ in the Catholic Church, and you’ll get historical information about how missionaries did the work of spreading the news of the church to some different countries and regions.
Historical documents are preserved at the museum detailing the changes in laws and regulations for different countries, and you’ll get to see parts of authentic clothing and supplies that were used by the missionaries.
Displaying over 20,000 works of art collected by several popes over the past few centuries, the Vatican Museums are made up of several different museums, galleries, and rooms, each featuring vast collections of world-renowned paintings and sculptures. There’s so much to see, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but don’t let that deter you from visiting.
Even though you won’t be able to see everything on a single visit, if you plan it right and give yourself enough time, you’ll still be able to see quite a bit. The key is to determine ahead of time the things you absolutely must see inside the Vatican Museums, and then make sure to work those particular pieces or places into the path you take through the museums. (Don’t worry, there are free maps at the entrance to help you navigate the maze of galleries!)
So, what are the must-sees at the Vatican Museums? Naturally, the answer to that question will vary depending on who you ask – what I consider to be the top things to see inside the Vatican Museums may be different than yours. I’m more of a sculpture girl, myself, but you might think the only things worth seeing are paintings by the masters of the Renaissance. (In which case, you’ll appreciate the Raphael Rooms far more than I did!) That being said, I believe there are several highlights within the Vatican Museums that no one should miss (ahem, Sistine Chapel) and you’ll find these below, along with a few of my personal favorites! More…
Of course, you’ll want to find the best places for lodging during your Vatican City visit as well, and there exist several great hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area that will make your visit complete. Check out the hotel bookings for more information.
Second entrance to Vatican Museums in the works
Construction of a second entrance to the Vatican Museums is currently underway in an attempt to alleviate queues for one of Rome’s most iconic sites. The home of the Sistine Chapel and other priceless masterpieces receives roughly 25,000 visitors a day, many of whom wait in lines that stretch back and around the Vatican walls for hours.
The famed Museums – which attracted a staggering 5.89 million people last year – have long grappled with a solution to their soaring numbers. Jatta’s predecessor Antonio Paolucci had proposed that only those with reserved, pre-booked tickets be granted access and also envisioned a digital reproduction of the Sistine Chapel, plans she has since shelved. “If you were a visitor wishing to see the Sistine Chapel and you got to Rome and were told that it couldn’t be seen, what would you do?” she asked. “We are also a museum with moral and spiritual value. The Sistine Chapel is also a chapel, and that’s something that cannot be forgotten,” Jatta told The New York Times in 2017. Instead, the Museums’ first woman director has pitched a second route to the Sistine Chapel around the Apostolic Palace and extended opening hours. More…
Vatican city on Wikipedia