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Vatican Museum

During many centuries, the Vatican has had official artists conceiving masterpieces in the name of the Catholic Church. The interesting thing is that Vatican officials make this art collection open to the public in the Vatican Museum (”Musei Vaticani” in Italian). The bad news is that those officials don't make it very easy to get in during the busiest travel season.

Vatican Museum Contained within the immense labyrinth of the Vatican Museums (it's often referred to in the plural because each section is considered a peculiar museum) It includes treasures from Egypt, the Near East, and Etruria (the Etruscans pre-dated the ancient Romans in Italy), including some sculptures which the ancient Romans even considered ancient. And that's saying something. There are paintings, tapestries, ceramics, mosaics and sculptures from every era and corner of the globe. There are frescoes by Italian great Raphael and, of course, Michelangelo. His Sistine Chapel ceiling and altar wall are the end point of a tour through the Vatican Museums.


Rome bus lines #64 or #40 which both stop near St. Peter's Basilica; Metro stop Cipro-Musei Vaticani is the closest to the Vatican Museum and is about a 10 to 15-minute walk from the museum's front door.

The Vatican Museum's hours can be disconcerting, because they change depending on the season, the day of the week, during Vatican holidays and (seemingly) on the whim of the Pope.

Usually speaking, the front doors are opening around 09:00 and the last guests are ushered out among 13:45 and 16:45, with the last tickets being sold an hour or so before closing time. The museums are closed on Sundays (except the last Sunday of the month), Easter, June 29, and December 25-26, among other potential holidays. For more specific information about the current year’s schedule, consult this: Website.


€13 adult, €8 reduced tariff (special pre-organized visits by schools or pilgrimages, students under 26 with valid ID, and children under 14).

On the last Sunday of each month and on World Tourism Day (September 27), the museums are free of charge to everyone. Disabled visitors (and one helper/companion) are also permitted free entry at all times, as are children under 6 years of age.

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