The Vatican Museums
The famous Vatican Museums, which are located on the territory of the Vatican City, are home to the pontifical art collections and are known to be one of the largest and most interesting museum complexes in the world.
Several museums, which are separated from each other, form altogether a museum complex including:
- Museum Pio Clementino
- Museum Chiaramonti
- Etruscan-Gregorian Museum
- Egyptian-Gregorian Museum
- Profane Gregorian Museum
- Christian Pius Museum
- Ethnological Missionary Museum
- Collection of modern religious art
- Upper galleries
- Museum of the Vatican Library
- Sistine Chapel
The museums and the collections contain the following sections: Oriental antiquities, classic antique, Etruscan-Italian antiquities, early Christian and medieval art, art of the Renaissance period up to the 19th century, contemporary art as well as the ethnological collection.
The Sistine Chapel
The highlight and for many people the most important part of visiting this museum complex, above all, is without doubt the Sistine Chapel. It was built between 1475 and 1483 under Pope Sixtus IV. and is located north of the St. Peter's Basilica, and thus is a part of the Apostolic palace.
The Sistine Chapel is very important to the catholic church and is still used for the conclave (voting the new pope). It is also home of some of the most famous paintings in the world. Apart from mural paintings by artists from the renaissance period, such as Sandro Botticelli, Cosimo Rosselli and Luca Signorelli, one will also be able to admire the world famous ceiling fresco by Michelangelo. The most famous part of it, “The creation of Adam”, depicts God creating Adam by stretching out his finger to bring him to life.
Visit the Vatican Museums
Due to its incredible variety, the Vatican Museums remain a very popular destination. This is why you might expect long queues in front of the museums, especially during the busy seasons like Christmas, Easter or Pentecost.
Because a single day will not be enough to visit all museums, make sure you inform yourself well about the museums or sections you would like to visit as it will make it easier to plan your museum tour.
How to get there
Line A, stops: Ottaviano – S. Pietro – Musei Vaticani & Cipro (both of which require a 10 minutes walk)
49: stops just opposite the entrance to the museums
32, 81, 982: stop at the Piazza del Risorgimento, from there it's only about 5 minutes of walking
492, 990: stop at the Via Leone IV – Via degli Scipioni, from there it's only about 5 minutes of walking
19: stops at the Piazza del Risorgimento, from there it's only about 5 minutes of walking.
In the Viale Vaticano as well as in the adjacent zones, you will find fee-based car parks.