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Vatican Museum

Vatican Museum (69)

The Vatican Museums house one of the world’s most extensive and important art collections, which are the result of four centuries of papal patronage. 

These museums were originally palaces built for Popes like Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII and Julius II. It was Julius II who in fact commissioned Bramante to build the courtyards and the galleries that link the different buildings.

First of all, remember that a trip around the museums is long and complex. It is very difficult to see and read everything so we therefore recommend that you choose the places you are most interested in visiting and then focus on those. The different routes are one-way and are marked in different colours. A visit may last from 90 minutes to five hours, depending on the route you choose. 

Bear in mind also that the museum opens and closes its doors in accordance with the number of people inside. It is therefore better, if you can, to plan your visit around midday, which is when queues are shorter. Do remember, however, that one hour prior to closure there are no further admissions.

The Vatican museums contain an important Pinacoteca, some exquisite galleries and endless works of art. Some interesting works are the Cortile della Pigna (a huge bronze pineapple in the old fountain), the Bramante Staircase (which can be climbed on horseback) and the Atrium of the Four Gates (the original entrance to the Museums). 

We also recommend the Borgia Apartment and the Pius-Clementine Museum, where you can see the famous sculptures of the Laocoön and the Apollo of Belvedere. In this area, however, most people undoubtedly want to see the impressive Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms.  

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