Vatican Museums, Rome

Vatican Museums, Rome (must see)

The Vatican Museums on Viale Vaticano are a collection of galleries that house the biggest display of art in the world, built up over the centuries by the Roman Catholic Church. You really shouldn’t miss this important collection of Renaissance Art and classical statues.

The collection was founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century when he bought the white marble statue of Laocoon and his sons being attacked by sea serpents from a vineyard owner who found the magnificent sculpture buried in one of his fields. Over the centuries a lot of rich people left paintings and sculptures to the Church and many of the popes following Julius II bought paintings from great artists of their time.

Although some of the paintings had been commissioned, it must be remembered that the Church had a vast fortune and could afford to buy works of art, so artists such as Bernini, Raphael, Michelangelo and Caravaggio, if they wanted to make a living, spent a lot of time on religious themes.

The collection was housed in the Borgia Apartment of the Vatican Palace until Pope Pius XI commissioned Luca Beltrami to build a suitable building for it.

The 53 galleries are truly breath-taking, with works by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Raphael, and a section of Modern Religious Art where you can admire paintings by Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carra among others.

Included in the tour is a visit to the Stanze della Segnatura with its beautiful frescoes by Raphael and the Sistine Chapel, whose ceiling frescoes by Michelangelo attract over 4 million visitors a year.

Why You Should Visit:
The collection is vast, there is something from almost all eras, countries and civilizations.

Tip:
Choose a few key pieces of art that you don't want to miss and just focus on those; otherwise, you should reserve at least a couple of days or visits to view everything.
Eat a good breakfast and put on your best walking shoes before you go.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-4pm, closed on Sundays
Sight description based on wikipedia

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Rome. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Vatican Museums on Map

Sight Name: Vatican Museums
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

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Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
EUR Sightseeing Walking Tour

EUR Sightseeing Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Ancient Rome around Colosseum

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles

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