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Visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: All you need to know

Visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: All you need to know

Visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: All you need to know

Vatican City is considered as much more than Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Discover the reasons why the church is in the place it is, and how the Vatican was named and much more! 

Let’s get to it as we explore the most fascinating and relevant chapters about the history of Vatican City:

A Brief History of Vatican City 

In during the Roman Empire, the Romans called this region Vaticanum which was the place where the wealthy and powerful constructed their homes and gardens. The Emperor Caligula (third the emperor from Rome between 37 and 41 CE) constructed a huge circus in the area.

Prior to the Basilica it was Caligula’s Circus. Later, it became known as Nero’s Circus. Based on the writings of the historian Tacitus, Nero started the fire to rebuild Rome according to his design and build his huge Golden House (Domus Aurea.)

Then he decided to kill Christians to make them the scapegoats. One of those he is believed to have killed saints is Peter.

Christian Tradition holds it is believed that St. Peter was crucified at Nero’s Circus that was a bit more or less exactly where the Vatican is at present.

Constantine’s  St Peter’s Basilica 

The Emperor Constantine (306 from 337 to 337 CE) was the very first Roman emperor to endorse Christianity as an official faith in the empire. He also (supposedly) changes his mind to Christianity. 

He also proclaimed that a church should be built on top of the final resting spot of the apostle Peter. Constantine’s Basilica’s construction started between 319 and 322 CE and took 30 years to finish.  

Visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel

Do you wish to begin your trip by going to the Vatican Museums? We strongly suggest the option of a guided tour. 

There are three ways for booking an excursion with a guide at the Vatican Museums and skip all the lines. 

Option 1: Early morning guided tour that starts at 8 am. When you join Eden Walks, you’re able to bypass the lines and visit the museums prior to the main entrance, while they’re mostly empty.

Option 2: Schedule an appointment for a guided tour prior to. So, you don’t have to wait for two hours in front of to the Vatican walls. Instead, you’ll have an exclusive entrance with our tour guide who will take you through the most beautiful art from, Renaissance to Baroque periods and help you from wandering around the Vatican Museums, which are seven miles long.

Option 3: Take a guided tour which comprises St. Peter’s Basilica. It is possible to go to the museums which include The Sistine Chapel, plus take the right-side entrance to the chapel, and go straight in St. Peter’s Basilica. This means you can avoid another two-hour wait because there are two entrances to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica have two distinct access points.

If you’re making your first trip visiting Rome and you’ve decided to explore Rome’s Vatican Museums, the best step is to seek the tour operators who provide guided tours. It is true that the Vatican Museums can be pretty chaotic during busy times when you aren’t sure how to navigate the way to the right path. There are over 14 museums inside, it could take you weeks to explore every single thing. It’s an enormous problem when you only have the weekend to enjoy Rome and you’re trying your best to squeeze into the most museums you can. 

Of course, you wouldn’t wish to be missing out on the most impressive art collections such as the Raphael Rooms, located in the middle of Vatican Museums next to the Sobieski Room. If you travel to the Vatican on by yourself and you end up in the Sistine Chapel without visiting the Raphael rooms, you won’t be able find them again unless you head again to the Vatican Museums entry point and go back to the entire place. Make sure you know that the Vatican Museums have a vast collection of contemporary and modern artwork, including pieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Marc Chagall, Auguste Rodin, and Henri Matisse.

After touring the Raphael rooms as well as The Borgia Apartments, you will discover the Collezione begin Contemporanea (Collection of Contemporary Art). You’ll also have the opportunity to relax in the bar that is located next to the Sistine Chapel. Select a robust Italian espresso to keep your attention while admiring the chapel’s famous ceiling designed by Michelangelo.

When you’ve finished your trip at the Vatican Museums, you can remain inside for all you like. The ticket will be valid throughout the day, but you’ll not be permitted to use it the whole day.

Particularly during weekends especially on holidays, particularly during the holidays, Vatican Museums can be packed. It is important to arrive 30 minutes early, since often, many tour groups will be arriving simultaneously and if you arrive five minutes over then you could be a five-minute late, and the Vatican Guard may get angry and force you to wait for 20 more minutes until the major group of tourists have arrived.

Vatican Museums open at 9 am and close at 4pm However, you are able to visit the museum until 6:45 pm. 

The museums are open on Fridays from 7pm to 11pm between April 26th and October 25th. The hours at night are more enjoyable. You’ll be able to enjoy glasses of vino inside the Pinecone Courtyard and relax for 20 minutes listening to amazing classical music performed by the Vatican band or even the newest Italian opera singers who perform at the Vatican Museums almost every Friday evening.

The Vatican Museums have an incredible ambience at night. The colors are very different and the statues give off distinct vibes. If it’s properly lit, you’ll be awed by the paintings, frescoes and Renaissance architecture that were made by the most famous artists across Italy. They were involved in their work in the Vatican Museums from the 1400s until the 17th century. You’ll surely have an unforgettable experience that you’ll never forget.

In the case of souvenirs, remember that there are numerous gift shops within the Vatican Museums, and not all items they offer are approved by Pope Francis. There is, however, an excellent shop just prior to entering St. Peter’s Basilica, to the right of the church near where you can find the tombs of the popes.

Once you’ve finished your shopping There are five things that should not miss in St. Peter’s Basilica. The first chapel at the entrance from the middle of the basilica to the right there is an amazing work of art that was sculpted by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The sculpture was completed in three years ago when the artist was just 23 years old. young, and it’s still considered to be one of the most valuable sculptures in the world.

Second chapel located on one side, on the left of the Basilica. It is the burial place of the Pope John Paul II, made saint through Pope Francis.

Follow the straight line in the middle of the basilica, to visit the Baldachin of Bernini which was a nine-year undertaking. The baldachin that lies beneath it is the burial place of Saint. Peter, and that is what you’re about to visit. On the right side of the center of the baldachin you will find an entrance that leads you to those of Popes as well as St. Peter.

Before you go it is highly recommended to take a tour of the treasures at the Vatican where you pay an entrance fee of eight euros. There you will find the most valuable relics as well as gifts that were donated over time by nobles and patriarchs, queens and kings from across the globe.

Not to be left out, there is the option to go to the cathedral of St. Peter’s Basilica. It costs 8 euros and 5 euros when you climb the stairs. There are approximately 551 steps and it will take around 30-40 minutes to reach the top. Alternatively, you can take the elevator and reach the top in just five minutes. On the way up, one can enjoy the most spectacular views from Rome as well as Vatican City. You can enjoy it with a cup of drink of coffee or wine, which is purchased from the tiny bar frequented by tourists and Vatican employees before climbing the steps.

While you’re there be sure to send postcards to your family and friends who are back home. These can find at the entrance from St. Peter’s Basilica on the right. You can purchase stamps at the Vatican post office. Outside, you can choose to use this yellow mailbox for mail to international destinations and the red box to mail from within Italy.

If you’re at the station at 5pm and you’re fortunate enough to witness the Swiss Guard as they switch shifts, wearing those gorgeous Renaissance costumes that are believed to be designed by Michelangelo.

If you are able to leave, you can take a walk to the Castel Sant’Angelo by using the Passetto which is the elevated walkway which connects it with the Vatican. The castle was used as a fortress by popes in the 1500s The Castel Sant’Angelo  was the original mausoleum of the Emperor Hadrian. We’ll go into more detail about this in the next article So, make sure you check out this blog on the Eden Walks blog for more details.

However, if you’re tired or hungry and are looking for a pizza in Rome take a stroll only a few steps away of the Vatican Museums, right next to Piazza Risorgimento. There is the top eatery in the area owned by a family, La Sofitta Renevatio. All you need to do is contact Mary or Stefano and inform the restaurant the fact that Alfredo, the tour guide at the Vatican has recommended the restaurant. The food is delicious there.

Make sure to leave space to enjoy a gelato. A few minutes walking distance across the street from La Sofitta is the Gelateria la Romana, which the locals think is the best gelato available in Rome. When you’re traveling through Rome take a bite of what Rome’s Romans do!

In the evening, if you’re seeking a nightclub then you must go the Campo de Fiori, Piazza Navona as well as the Pantheon. You will be able to enjoy live music, the most delicious Aperitivos in Rome and delicious food.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all this information. For more information go to www.edenwalks.com or check out our channel on YouTube, Eden Walks, and check out our videos to see more information on the famous sites of Rome including cuisine and art. Think about making your name to the sculpture.