Fodor's Expert Review Musei Vaticani

The Vatican Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice
Staircase, Musei Vaticani, Rome, Italy

Other than the pope and his papal court, the occupants of the Vatican are some of the most famous artworks in the world. The Vatican Palace, residence of the popes since 1377, consists of an estimated 1,400 rooms, chapels, and galleries. The pope and his household occupy only a small part; most of the rest is given over to the Vatican Library and Museums. Beyond the glories of the Sistine Chapel, the collection is extraordinarily rich; highlights include the great antique sculptures (including the celebrated Apollo Belvedere in the Octagonal Courtyard and the Belvedere Torso in the Hall of the Muses); the Stanzi de Raffaello (Raphael Rooms), with their famous gorgeous frescoes; and the Old Master paintings, such as Leonardo da Vinci's beautiful (though unfinished) St. Jerome in the Wilderness, some of Raphael’s greatest creations, and Caravaggio’s gigantic Deposition in the Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery). To avoid lengthy queues, book your ticket in advance online (READ MORE

Other than the pope and his papal court, the occupants of the Vatican are some of the most famous artworks in the world. The Vatican Palace, residence of the popes since 1377, consists of an estimated 1,400 rooms, chapels, and galleries. The pope and his household occupy only a small part; most of the rest is given over to the Vatican Library and Museums. Beyond the glories of the Sistine Chapel, the collection is extraordinarily rich; highlights include the great antique sculptures (including the celebrated Apollo Belvedere in the Octagonal Courtyard and the Belvedere Torso in the Hall of the Muses); the Stanzi de Raffaello (Raphael Rooms), with their famous gorgeous frescoes; and the Old Master paintings, such as Leonardo da Vinci's beautiful (though unfinished) St. Jerome in the Wilderness, some of Raphael’s greatest creations, and Caravaggio’s gigantic Deposition in the Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery). To avoid lengthy queues, book your ticket in advance online (biglietteriamusei.vatican.va) for a €4 surcharge.

For those interested in guided visits to the Vatican Museums, tours start at €33, including entrance tickets, and can also be booked online. Other offerings include a regular two-hour guided tour of the Vatican gardens and the semi-regular Friday- night openings, allowing visitors to the museums until 11 pm; call or check online to confirm. For more information, call 06/69884676 or go to mv.vatican.va. For information on tours, call 06/69883145 or 06/69884676; visually impaired visitors can arrange tactile tours by calling 06/69884947.

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Quick Facts

Viale Vaticano
Rome, Latium  00165, Italy

06-69883145

www.museivaticani.va

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €21 with online reservations, €17 without; free last Sun. of month, Closed Sun. (except last Sun. of month) and church holidays

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