Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums

Millions and millions of people flock to this museum every year. It is the most visited museum on the Italian peninsula. You will be able to see statues from the Roman and Greek period, see breathtaking galleries and if you manage to ignore the crowd you will get lost in your thoughts in front of the beauty of the Sistine Chapel.

The beginnings of the museum can be traced back to Pope Julius II in the 16th century, when his collection of sculptures was displayed in today’s Octagonal Court of the museum. The collection was enriched over time by different Popes. Today, visitor can enjoy not only the vast collection of statues and works of art but also: The Gallery of Maps, Sistine Chapel, The Gallery of Tapestries etc.

This vast complex consists of 25 sections, out of which we are going to mention just a few:
Pinacoteca - Art Gallery
The collection contains some of the greatest works of arts of the most well-known Italian painters: Raphael, Leonardo, Caravaggio, Tiziano, Veronese, Crespi etc.
Sistine Chapel

This chapel was constructed between 1475-1481 during Pope Sisto (Sixtus) IV-  this is where the name Sistine Chapel comes from. Partially painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti, it is considered to contain some of the most significant frescoes of the Western Civilization.
The Gallery of Maps
Commissioned in 16th century by pope Gregory XIII, it displays topographic maps of Italy, painted by the geographer Ignazio Danti. He painted 40 panels (120 meters long) in this gallery.
The Raphael’s Rooms
These rooms were painted by the famous Italian painter Raphael - it is where the name comes from. These were private rooms of Pope Julius II who did not want to move into the private chambers of his predecessor. Even though Raphael’s teacher, Perugino, had already painted these walls, according to Pope’s wish Raphael repainted them.
Gregorian Profane Museum
This section contains original Greek sculptures and Roman copies and some of the best preserved mosaics that date back to the period between the 1st and 3rd century AD.

(!) Taking photos is allowed inside the museum, but without flash. No kind of photography is allowed inside the Sistine Chapel!

Ticket prices for Vatican Museums
Regular ticket price is 16 Euros (€).
Reduced ticket price is 8 Euros (€).
Reduced price: children between 8 and 18 years old, students younger than 26, with valid student cards.
Free entrance: children under 6, individuals with disability over 74%.   
We advise you to check the ticket prices before visiting on the official website of Vatican Museums.

Working hours of Vatican Museums
From Monday to Saturday working hours are 9:00- 18:00h.
Ticket office closes at 16:00
Museum is closed: Sundays, 1, 2 January; 11February; 19 March; 5, 6 April; 1 May; 29 June; 15 August; 8, 25, 26 December.
We advise you to check the working hours of the museum before visiting on the official website of Vatican Museums.

Interesting facts

  • In 2011, around 6 million people visited this museum, meaning it was the most visited museum in Italy. Technically this museum does not belong to Italy but Vatican, the papal city state in Rome. 
  • The most well-known fresco in the Sistine Chapel is called “The last judgment”. It was painted by Michelangelo and it represents the second coming of Jesus and the final judgment of all humanity by God.
  • “The last judgment” by Michelangelo was a groundbreaking work of art. Traditionally, on all other frescoes this event showed figures dressed according to rank and social position while Michelangelo’s version shows nude figures stripped bare of rank.
  • August of Prima Porta is a marble sculpture of the first Roman Imperator Augustus. This sculpture was found in 1863 in the villa of Livia (the wife of the Imperator). In this 2-meter-high sculpture, Augustus is barefoot, which used to be a standard of referring to Gods or Heroes of the Ancient Roman period. This piece of art is occasionally on display in the Vatican museum.

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