To best enjoy this page PLEASE ACTIVATE JAVASCRIPT in your browser. IMPORTANT NOTICE RELATED TO EU GDPR RULES: If you are visiting this content from the EUROPEAN UNION please understand that we can NOT provide you content due to EU restrictions and have set up IP blocking on the internal pages of this site. AT A LATER TIME: You can visit us via a US based IP and/or other IP ranges (outside of the EU). FURTHER - MESSAGE FOR NON-EU VISITORS: Some pages on this website use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this website. We have recently updated this site's Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Terms of Service Agreement. Skip to main content

Vatican City | Rome

We are heading to Vatican City ...

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Within it, you will find the Sistine Chapel (click the link to view an interactive tour) where you will see the amazing frescos painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.

Vatican City is one of the most unique places in the world thanks to the fact that it is the only nation state that is located within the boundaries of another nation - Italy. It is the main hub of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Pope. As a tourist destination, Vatican City is one of the most culturally rich places in Europe and is an important stop on your tour of Italy even if you are not a Catholic. To see everything in Vatican City requires more than just a couple of hours. Spending a full day exploring the riches that it has to offer is ideal.

If you only have time to do one thing I recommend the Sistine Chapel as it is Vatican City's most beloved and breathtaking attraction. This is where you'll find the famous frescoes painted by Michelangelo. {Webmaster note: I am working on expanding the section on the Sistine Chapel below}.

St. Peter's Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world and is a pilgrimage destination for Catholics around the world. Inside the basilica you'll find beautiful sculptures and monuments by Bernini like the high altar that reaches ten stories tall! If you have the energy and the time, climb the stairs to Michelangelo's dome of the basilica and take in the 360-degree views of Rome.
Note: The Vatican has posted a series of virtual tours that you should make sure to view!

The Vatican Museums contain the artwork that the Catholic Church and its many Popes have collected over the centuries. Here you'll find Renaissance masterpieces, classical sculptures, and so much more. I recommend taking an official tour of the museums to learn as much as you can about the pieces on display.

If you have the time, spend a while hanging out in St. Peter's Square (Piazza San Pietro) enjoying the architecture, fountains, Egyptian obelisk (which is over 25 meters high) and people watching opportunities. (Note: St. Peter was the Catholic Church's first Pope and that's why so many things in Vatican City are named after him.) Don't forget to dress accordingly! It is not allowed to visit Vatican City with your shoulders or knees exposed so tank tops, miniskirts and shorts are out. Hats are also not allowed. They sell plastic wraps that you can use to cover yourself if you forget or don't have time to stop back at your hotel for a change of clothing. Photography is allowed as long as it is for personal use (but not in the Sistine Chapel). Flash photography and tripods and professional equipment are not allowed.

Look carefully, you’ll notice that most of the columns on the ceiling are not actual columns — they’re painted. The narrative begins at the altar and is divided into three sections. In the first three paintings, Michelangelo tells the story of The Creation of the Heavens and Earth:
The subjects of the frescoes:

More Amazing Art is found here!

The Vatican Museums display works from the immense collection amassed by Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments.
Location map of Vatican City
Vatican Museums is located in Vatican City
Opening days and times:
From Monday to Saturday
9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. (final entry 4.00 p.m.)
Every last Sunday of the month
9.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. (final entry 12.30 p.m.)
General information
+39 06 69884676
+39 06 69883145

Tips to visit Rome:

April to June and late September to October are the best months for travelingSt. Peter's Square is beautiful at night, as the Colosseum the largest amphitheatre built during the Roman Empire: Climb the Spanish Steps:
Next: Get an ice cream near the Trevi Fountain and view other must-see attractions in Rome, the surrounding the city  (note also: "Of Further Interest").

Note: All content on this site is EXPANDING and all sections are being added to! So enjoy this work in progress and welcome to a unique project aimed to share in rapid overview books, poems, films, and places to visit and discover offline!