What to visit in Vatican
Going to Rome, most tourists “want to visit the Vatican” and do not even realize how absurd this phrase sounds. The fact is that the Vatican is almost impossible to visit for tourist purposes, since it is a closed state. However, it is possible to visit some of its parts, each of which has its own visiting procedure. Let’s see what an ordinary tourist can see on the territory of the Vatican City.
St. Peter’s Square
Getting to the Vatican is the easiest way to start from St. Peter’s Square. Admission to it is free at any time and, of course, free. However, this square was conceived as a gate to the Vatican, therefore, according to Bernini’s plan, it resembles a keyhole. Believing Catholics from all over the world gather in this square to attend the papal service and receive his blessing. It is worth paying attention to the huge Egyptian obelisk, once brought to Rome by order of Caligula. According to legend, the remains of Julius Caesar are stored in a golden ball on top of the obelisk. There are two grandiose fountains by Bernini and Maderno on the square. There is still an interesting nuance that is worth checking for yourself: if you stand on one of the white circles near the obelisk, then it will seem that the columns are hiding one after another, which makes the colonnade appear transparent. Such an optical illusion was invented by the architect. On the edge of the square, to the left of the entrance to the cathedral, is the Vatican Post, where can you send letters to yourself and your friends when you still receive a letter from the Vatican?
How to get there: on foot from the Ottaviano metro or on buses No. 23, 32, 34, 40, 46, 49, 62, 64, 81, 98, 271, 492, 571, 870, 881, 907, 916, 982, 990
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is the main Catholic church and one of the first places that tourists who come to Rome want to visit. Since the best architects and artists of that time (Bernini, Michelangelo, Raphael and others) took part in the construction of the cathedral, here all visitors will find something interesting for themselves. Of particular interest is one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces – the marble “Pieta”, now covered with armored glass. Most visitors do not ignore the bronze statue of St. Peter, all according to legend, if you rub the Apostle’s right foot, your cherished wish will come true. The line of people who want to do this never ends, so the bronze on the foot has already faded and turned white. When visiting the cathedral, you need to consider that it is valid and the rules apply here – no shorts, miniskirts and bare shoulders. Women are advised to bring a scarf with them. It should be noted that there are metal detectors at the entrance to the cathedral, so you cannot carry any knives with you. If you have a large bag, backpack, bag, he will be asked to be taken to a storage room (free of charge). Taking pictures inside is allowed for free. Well, to stand in line for the cathedral, you also need to be ready.
How to get there: see St. Peter’s Square
Opening hours: daily from April to September – from 7 to 19, from October to March – from 7 to 18.30
The Vatican Museums combine many museums, collections, galleries, apartments, palaces and other visits. A huge number of paintings, sculptures, books, ancient manuscripts are presented here. The age of some exhibits of the Egyptian Museum is more than 2 thousand years old – statues of pharaohs, scarabs, ancient papyri and animal mummies. The Pinakothek has an impressive collection of originals and copies of famous paintings. The Etruscan Museum has a rich collection of gold and bronze objects, you can see statues and vases. It is worth paying attention to three small halls painted by Raphael by order of Pope Julius II. In the morning, to the opening of the museums, a long queue is gathering at the entrance, so if you can, it is better to go to the museums later, at 11 o’clock. Or you can buy tickets online, print them out and go to a special window. However, this service costs an additional 4 kvro.
How to get there: on foot from the Ottaviano metro
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9 to 18 (ticket offices are open until 16 hours). The day off is Sunday and on some holidays – the exact schedule is here http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/z-Info/MV_Info_Orari.html. The last Sunday of each month from 9 to 12.30 admission is free.
Admission: adult – 15 euros, school – 4 euros
You can buy a ticket online here: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do