I have just came back from Rome and i wanted to share with you my visit at the Vatican museum and some tips for a pleasant visit.
Part of the Vatican City, which is an independent state in the heart of Rome, Vatican Museums are one of the biggest art collection in the world, accumulated during centuries thanks to direct commission from the church and to the many donations received.
The Vatican museums were originally the residence of the popes since the establishment of Nicholas V (1447-1455). It was thanks to him and his humanist inclination, that the spaces of the residence began to be decorated with frescoes. The project then continued with his successor pope Alexander VI (1492-1503).
Since then all the following popes continued to hire many famous artists such as Michelangelo and Raffaello to participate to the decoration of the many rooms of the establishment.
So, let's start our tour: by booking the visit on the website, you receive a voucher that can then be changed into actual tickets through an automatic machine; simple and fast.
You can choose different routes to start with, we followed the classic one that leads to a small but really beautiful ancient Egyptian exposition, there are some unique pieces that really amazed me.
Then it was the turn of Pio Clementino museum part, which includes many beautiful mosaics, sculptures and the famous "cortile ottagono" (octagonal courtyard), the place is so harmonic and peaceful surrounded by ancient sculptures really well preserved.
Partial view of the octagonal courtyard
Then we admired the exposition of tapestries and ancient Italian maps, I love them!
Finally, it was time to see one of the best part of the tour: Raphael’s Rooms and Niccoline Chapel.
Those are the some of Frescoes executed by Raffaello and his school.
Outstanding ceiling in the maps room
Outstanding Raffaello Fresco called "la scuola di Atene"
Finally we headed to the Sistine chapel, I have no picture here because it is prohibited to take them.
There are many other rooms, we visited some of theme, other not. The quantity of art is overwhelming, our tour took about two hours, but we were not close to see everything, a complete tour that includes also the visit to the gardens can take about 5-6 hours.
The beautiful stairs that leads to the exit
If you plan to come in Rome, my suggestion is always to prepare in advance and book the tickets of the museums or attraction you want to see before your arrival, especially in the period between march to November.
Also remember to book the tickets using only the official page of the museum or qualified tour operators.
You can book Vatican museums tickets directly on their site:
There are many different option which you can choose, the basic fee is 17 euros+ 4 euros for the online booking fee.
You can add to your booking also the audioguide (I recommend to take it, the history of Rome during the centuries is intricate, and there also many interesting things you can learn).
The museum is open 9: to 18:00, but last admission is 16:00, check always the official calendar to their site, because some day the museum is closed (including every Sunday) and days when the opening hours are prolonged.
Let me know your impression if you visited the museum, for any question don’t hesitate to ask me.