Visiting the Vatican in Rome

If you want to visit the sovereign nation of Vatican City in Rome, you do not need to pass through any checkpoints or customs. You can walk in and out of the city freely. If you plan to visit museums or churches in the city, you may need to obtain tickets ahead of time. You will also need to be dressed appropriately to visit some of the attractions in Vatican City.

Ancient Art

Antiquities and Renaissance artwork are some of the things you will see on a tour of the Vatican Museums. Four museums have displays of antiquities from Greece and Rome. These items include statues, mosaics, busts, and urns. The Pinacoteca building in the museums is a picture gallery with 18 rooms of pictures. One room has paintings from the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries. Several rooms contain paintings from the Renaissance. Greek icons from the 15th century are on display in one room.

Greek and Roman art are displayed in the Pius-Clementine Museum. You can see early Christian art in the Chiaramonti Museum and tapestries from the 16th century in the Gallery of Tapestries. Some of the artwork at the museums is displayed in rooms that were used by popes in the 16th century.

Famous Comissions

The Sistine Chapel is part of the Vatican Museums. You will be able to see the ceiling painted by Michelangelo during your visit to the chapel. Artwork on the chapel's walls was painted by Botticelli and other Italian artists during the late 15th century.

You can see more artwork in St. Peter's Basilica. Construction on the basilica began in the 16th century, and it was completed in the middle of the 17th century. You can see Michelangelo's Pieta here. He created this marble sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Jesus in 1499. A tabernacle designed by Bernini in 1674 is one of the other things to see here. You can also see a baldacchino designed by Bernini. This massive bronze canopy with gold accents is over the papal altar and St. Peter's relics.

Visiting Requirements

If you visit the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica, you should have your knees and shoulders covered. Shorts are not permitted.

If you want to take a tour of the catacombs under Vatican City, you will need to make arrangements ahead of time by contacting the Vatican's Excavation Office. You can learn about the history of Rome and the Catholic Church during this tour.

If you are planning to visit Vatican City, you may be able to avoid waiting in line to see attractions if you purchase tickets ahead of time.