Vatican Museum: a journey through art, history and mystery
The Vatican Museum is the most important museum in Italy. Millions of people travel from all over the world to admire the masterpieces in the Vatican City, every year.
Surrounded by those walls, there are the works of important artists, famous all over the globe: masterpieces by the inventor Leonardo Da Vinci, the dark Caravaggio and the great Tiziano, as well as Michelangelo Buonarroti, unchallenged symbol of the Italian Renaissance and the very important, even if less famous, Egyptian Age area.
How is the museum set?
There are 54 very rich galleries and many sections; here you are the most famous ones.
The Tapestries Gallery set in 1838. Tapestries are exposed in the Pinacoteca Vaticana and host the works of the Scuola Nuova and Scuola Vecchia. They are from Brussels, made in the 1500s, including Raffaello and his pupil’s copies. It was the 1531, when they were exposed in the famous Sistine Chapel for the first time.
The Geographical Maps Gallery is situated along the way towards the Sistine Chapel. It is one of the most attracting areas of the Vatican Museum. Lots of metres, 120 to be accurate, of geographical maps representing the Italian regions, including the most famous harbours of the time. The maps were made between the 1581 and the 1583.
There are also many different sections: the Pinacoteca, Raffaello Rooms, Gregorian Etruscan Museum, the Ethnological-missionary Museum and the famous Sistine Chapel.
The Vatican Museum: a little bit of history
The Museum – made of the Vatican buildings, the Museum and the external area, including the gardens - was founded in the 1506, on Pope Julius II’s request, but it was finally opened to the people just in 1771, when Pope Clement XIV exposed the Laocoön and His Sons and the famous statue representing it. This mythological symbol, even if not so famous, took part to one of the most famous episodes of the Greek work having the wooden horse given to Trojans as protagonist. Well, the Laocoön was the priest who tried to persuade Trojans to not accept the famous gift. The statue was found in a Roman vineyard and bought by the owner of the latter.
A fun fact about the history of the Museum tells us about the European nationalisms: it was the 1938, and the feared Führer was banned by the Vatican Museum, thanks to Pope Pius XI who banned the Museum to everybody, in order to avoid the unwelcome visit: Aldolf Hitler never had the opportunity to visit it.
The Sistine Chapel
It is the most important chapel of the apostolic building. It is one of the symbols of the Italian culture, art and architecture in the world. Dedicated to the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, it was requested by Pope Sixtus IV Della Rovere and built during the years between the 1475 and the 1481.
The Sistine Chapel is decorated by frescos by Michelangelo Buonarroti, on the vault and on the altar. On the latter, there is the famous Last Judgement. The eyes of the world can admire it, by the media’s cameras, during the official ceremonies the Pope chairs and during the Conclave days, when the Church elects the new Pope.
Here you are a fun fact: many movies set their scenes in this room, but nobody had the permission of using the direct recordings: what you see, are just fake reconstructions made in the cinema studios.
Travelling around mystery and esotery at the Vatican Museum
There are not only art and culture in the Vatican Museum, but also lots of mysteries and esoterism have been travelling through history up today. Some works hide mysterious fun facts.
It was also said there was an alien living in the museum, rumors obviously lately retracted. In 2017, they exposed the body of strange figure saint, that should had lived in Calilee at Jesus times.
Anyway, there are some secret rooms in the Museum, but no real mysteries: they are called secret because they are reserved to the Pope.
Visiting the Vatican Museum: timetables, tickets and useful information
The Vatican Museum is open every day, except for Sundays: it is open on the last Sunday of each month and the entrance is free. It is closed on: the 1st January, the 6th January, the 11th February, the 19th March, the 21st April, the 1st May, the 29th June, the 14th August, the 1st November, the 8th, 25th and 26th December.
It is not possible to book tickets for the last Sunday of the month, but you can do it and book also guided tours online every other day.
One of the advantages of booking tickets is to avoid the long queues at the entrance. The disadvantage is that you must choose a time slot to go there when you book it; so you must go there 15 minutes in advance. If you are not in time, you can enter, waiting for your turn in the other guests queue.
As visitors are so many, we suggest you to book the ticket online, it’s absolutely faster.
In the Museum, you will be able to buy whisperers and the ticket will allow you to visit the Sistine Chapel too, on the ticket emission day. You can also plan guided tours in many different languages.
Please, mind to wear an appropriate outfit. The full ticket price is 16 euros, 20 euros if you book it, 8 euros the reduced one, 12 the reduced one online. There are many reductions, to know all the options and to book tickets, we suggest you to visit the official website www.museivaticani.va.
Do you want to stay in Rome?
For this location we recommend Hotel Panama Garden, ideal for discovering Rome thanks to its strategic location.