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The Vatican Museums begin just beyond a massive bronze door that, like magic, takes you out of Italy and into the smallest country in the world: the Vatican. There are priceless works of art here, collected by the popes or often expressly commissioned by them. More than 70,000 pieces are on exhibition in over 42,000 square meters, with another 50,000 pieces preserved in the vaults and storerooms. Forget about seeing everything in a single visit: it simply can't be done. To the millions of visitors that come here from every part of the globe to admire these marvels, the whole complex seems to be one gigantic museum but the Vatican Museums, with their full name "Papal Museums and Galleries", are the Museum of Museums, the result of the union of various collections, collections that often take the name of the pope that began them. The most sought-after stop on the Vatican Museum trail is without doubt the Sistine Chapel however every room is rich in history and precious examples of life from every era. The birth of the Museum was almost by chance: it all began in 1506, when an ancient sculpture was found in a vineyard on the Esquiline Hill near Nero's Domus Aurea. It was only later that it was recognized as one of the most famous statues ever: the Laocoonte, described even by the Latin author Pliny. The subject of the work is taken from an episode of Virgil's Aeneid in which the seer and priest Laocoonte, for having predicted Ulysses' use of the Trojan Horse, was punished by the gods who sent two enormous snakes to strangle him and his two children in their deadly coils.
The Vatican Museums begin just beyond a massive bronze door that, like magic, takes you out of Italy and into the smallest country in the world: the Vatican. There are priceless works of art here, collected by the popes or often expressly commissioned by them. More than 70,000 pieces are on exhibit…
The Vatican Museums preserve 2000 years of history. Across its corridors, you'll see anything ranging from ancient Roman sculptures to the most refined religious art. Oh, forgot to say you also get to see the Sistine Chapel...
Church art collections, centuries and centuries of art commissions and extraordinary works, from Raffaello to Michelangelo!
Galleries with masterpieces of classical and renaissance art, in addition to the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel.
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