Vatican City is a State within a State. Get the scoop on what to see here and how to best organize a one-day visit.

Vatican City is a State within a State. Get the scoop on what to see here and how to best organize a one-day visit.

The Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums started as the popes’ private collection in the early 16th century. At the museums’ core is its enormous collection of Greek and Roman statues.

Vatican museums

The Vatican Museums are the 4th most visited in the world with more than 6,000,000 visitors annually. Considering the long lines, we suggest reserving your entrance and buying your ticket online. Among the numerous collections inside, some that you definitely shouldn’t miss are:

  • The Pius-Clementine Museum: 12 rooms featuring extraordinary Greek and Roman sculptures
  • The Vatican Art Gallery: 460 paintings by famed artists who made the history of art, the likes of Giotto, Raphael, and Perugino. Its 18 rooms are arranged chronologically from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.
  • The Gallery of Geographical Maps is 120 meters long and 6 wide. Forty maps are depicted on the walls of different parts of Italy created at the end of the 16th century with lavish details, including cities, woods, and mountains.
  • The rooms of Pope Julius’s private apartment, called the Raphael Rooms, offers up a depiction of grand themes like justice, poetry, and philosophy in one of the world’s most famous works, The School of Athens.

Buy tickets online and avoid the line >>

The Sistine Chapel

The creation of adamo, Sistina Chapel

The last place to go is the most famous of all: the Sistine Chapel. Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo with the arduous task of frescoing it, which he did in just 4 years. It contains a total of 300 figures, depicted with extraordinary attention to detail.
Among its most renowned images are the Creation of Adam and the Last Judgment.
There is many a legend about how Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, such as that he might have done it laying on his back. But he wasn’t — he was just in an uncomfortable, hunched position that gave him plenty of backaches!

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica has a truly ancient history as it is built over a very large Roman necropolis. Its colossal proportions, 186 meters long, make it possibly the largest church in the world.

St Peter's Basilica in Rome

The heart of the Church is the altar, under which is the tomb of the Apostle Peter, and above which is Bernini's majestic baldachin, built with bronze filched from the Pantheon.
Ushering us into the church is Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s work of genius: the colonnade. He designed it with the idea of embracing and guiding worshipers to the enlightenment of faith. It has the same proportions as the Colosseum, as if it could nestle perfectly inside.

The colonnade in St Peter's Basilica, Rome

The majesty of this sacred place is topped off by St. Peter’s dome, which Michelangelo designed and the architect Giacomo della Porta built, an extraordinary masterpiece admired worldwide.

The Basilica is open every day from 7.00 to 19.00, April to September and from 7.00 to 18.00, October to March.

Entrance to the Basilica entrance is free. Be sure to dress appropriately for a religious site (with shoulders and legs covered).

There is, however, a fee to enter the dome.
Cost: 7 € with elevator, 6 € with stairs.

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