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

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Rome, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Vatican Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Sightseeing Walking Tour in EUR

Sightseeing Walking Tour in EUR

Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR) is a suburban area in Rome established in 1942, it was designed to host an exhibition which didn't take place due to World War II. EUR is popular for the period architecture of Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The area also contains some very important landmarks of history and culture, including Museo della Civiltà Romana, Pigorini Museo Nazionale...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state consisting of an enclave within the city of Rome, it is the smallest recognized independent state in the world. The Vatican is one of the most sacred places in Christendom, it attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. Although only 44 hectares in overall surface, the Vatican features several worthwhile places to see, such as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Museums Walk

Museums Walk

As an ancient and cultural city, Rome is packed with museums which demonstrate its value in the world of culture and civilization. When it comes to art, Rome contains the most significant artifacts in the world, including sculptures, paintings, pottery, and porcelain; all hidden within the splendid palaces of the city. Take the following tour to better acquaint yourself with the splendors of Rome.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Souvenir Shopping Tour

Souvenir Shopping Tour

It would be a pity to leave Rome without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Rome, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km
Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour

Trevi and Colonna Walking Tour

The Trevi district is well known for housing Rome's largest Baroque fountain and one of the world's most famous, as well as for being home to sumptuous palaces such as the Quirinale and the Barberini. The neighbouring Colonna district takes its name from another famous landmark, the Column of Marcus Aurelius in the Piazza Colonna. This district has a classic elegance, with its upscale...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km

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