What to See and Do in Vatican City

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica (Photo credit: jimmyharris)

The Holy City is the heart of the Christian faith and where the pope has been living since 1378. It is in the Vatican’s papal apartments where the Pope resides. Likewise, St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope’s church is in the city of the Vatican.

Vatican City Location

The Vatican City is in Rome and is accessed through St. Peter’s Square. The way to Ponte St. Angel bridge is said to be the perfect way to go to the Vatican City from Rome. Upon arriving at Castel St. Angelo which is just opposite the bridge, where one can already see the Vatican City. Likewise, Castel St. Angelo has a passage that links to the Vatican which was once utilized by fleeing popes.

Vatican Museums

Vatican Museum is a museum complex that is the biggest in the world, with more than 1400 rooms. Aside from the museum, it has galleries that are already 3,000 years, the Sistine Chapel and some parts of papal palace. A room containing the works of Raphael is also found. The Pinacoteca Vaticana is perhaps the best picture gallery of Rome with a lot of Renaissance work. Another impressive hall is Hall of Maps. It has wall paintings of papal lands’ ancient maps.

Paying a Visit to the Vatican Museum

Four various itineraries at Vatican Museums usually end in Sistine Chapel. It is a wise move to join a guided tour since the museum is so vast. People who have reservations for guided tours or those who already booked tickets beforehand do not need to wait in lines. These museums are open every day except Sundays and holidays. They also open during the month’s last Sunday if they are free. Here are some information about ticket bookings for Vatican Museum visits. Select Italy is also selling tickets for a Vatican Museum visit which you can purchase in the U.S.

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel is known for its ceiling frescoes which Michelangelo painted.

Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City

Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City (Photo credit: Andreas Solberg)

The core scenes are the creation and Noah’s story. The great artist also beautified the altar wall. The biblical scenes seen in the walls were worked by some renowned artists, two of whom are Botticelli and Perugino. Built in 1473 to 1481, it is the private chapel of the pope and where elections for a new pope are held. See information on visiting the Sistine Chapel history and art.

Saint Peter’s Square

The Basilica of Saint Peter, which is built on the location of a church that covers Peter’s tomb, is among the world’s largest churches. Entrance is free. It is required that visitors wear proper attires and showing no bare shoulders and knees. It is open every day from 7am to 7pm (or until 6pm from October to March). Italian masses are held on Sundays.

Saint Peter’s Basilica is on Saint Peter’s Square, a famous tourist and religious attraction. Many significant art works such as Michelangelo’s renowned Pieta are inside the church. The tombs of the popes are also open for visits.

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