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 Carrà 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:
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.
Colosseum to Pantheon Walking Tour

Colosseum to Pantheon Walking Tour

The say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” and that undoubtedly implies appreciating the enormous historical and architectural richness of the city, often – and rightly so – referred to as “eternal”. Stretching from Colosseum to Pantheon, this 3km-walk invites you to explore the most notable attractions of the Italian capital, including the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and more.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" (1953) is a movie, filmed entirely in Rome and beloved by generations of people. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the film won three Oscars, giving Hepburn a boost to her glorious film career. The main storyline centers around a day of freedom in the beautiful Italian capital for an otherwise duty-bound Princess Ann. Take the following tour to live the happiest day of her life in Rome!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.9 km
Campitelli & St'Angelo Walking Tour

Campitelli & St'Angelo Walking Tour

Campitelli and Sant'Angelo are two of Rome's oldest rioni (districts), they are located at the heart of ancient Rome and are home to the most sought after landmarks; such as the Colosseum, Theater of Marcellus, Temple of Saturn, and Arch of Constantine. Take this tour to explore Campitelli, the tenth rione, and Sant'Angelo, the eleventh and the smallest historic rione of Rome.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Pinciano Cultural Walk

Pinciano Cultural Walk

Pinciano is the 3rd rione (district) of Rome, it is located in the north of the city, close to the Aurelian walls. Pinciano is home to the Pincio Gardens, an impressive park within the city of Rome. Take this tour to explore the Pinciano rioni and visit such famous sites as the Galleria Borghese, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, National Etruscan Museum, and Bioparco.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 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
Classical Sites Walking Tour

Classical Sites Walking Tour

Rome's glory didn't end with the fall of the Roman empire, it continued as a melting point of culture and creativity for centuries. Today, the city is a fabulous architectural patchwork, a living masterpiece, and a true tribute to its history. This tour is the perfect introduction to Rome's famous classical sites.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km

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