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Top 10 Vatican museums | Free tour Rome

What not to miss while visiting the Vatican museum.

✓ No 1 : Sistine chapel

The chapel got its name from Pope Sixtus IV, and was restored from the old Cappella Magna between the year 1477 and 1480. Many people everyday come from around the world to admire the famous paintings don by Michelangelo. He started of in the year 1508. It took him in total 4 years to finish the painting on the ceiling. To find it you have to stand in the saint Peters square facing the saint Peters church. There on the right hand side (next to the church) you can find the Sistine chapel. To enter the Sistine chapel, you have to go first through the Vatican museums. It is probably the most famous building in the Vatican city. Today it is used for the Papal conclave. In which the new pope is elected.

✓ No 2 : Raphael Santi rooms.

The four Stanze di Raffaello ("Raphael's rooms") painted by Raphael a young artist from Urbino. This rooms are spectacular to see. The Raphael rooms where his biggest works of his career. Probably his most famous work is The school of Athens in the stanza della segnatura. He got commissioned by Pope Julius II in the year 1508. On the same time Michelangelo started working in the Sistine chapel. He died at a age of 37, many of his works remain.

✓ No 3 : Saint Peter's square

Saint Peter's Square in Italian it is called piazza San Pietro, was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667. It had to have an forecourt, so that a big number of people could see the Pope when he was giving his blessing, either from the balcony situated in the middle of the facade of the church or from a window in the Vatican. The obelisk standing in the middle has been taken from the Circus of Nero.

✓ No 4 : Saint Peter's basilica

This is a must ones you are in Rome. The saint peter's church has the name from the bible figure Peter according the history he was crucified right there on the very spot. It has been build starting in the early 15th century. To complete the church it took about 120 years. The entrance is for free at all time, pay attention how you dressed (especially in the summer) because you have to cover up your shoulders and knees otherwise they will not let you enter.

✓ No 5 : Gallery of Maps

The galley was commissioned in 1580 by Pope Gregory XIII. The room is 120 meter long and 6 meter wide. It contains 40 panels along 2 sides made by Ignazio Danti of Perugia. It took him 3 years to complete this room. He worked from 1580 till 1583. It still is today the world's largest pictorial geographical study ever done. It represent the whole of Italy.

✓ No 6 : Pietà

The Pietà has been made Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1498–1499, it is one of his masterpieces. It is standing in the Saint Peter basilica behind bulletproof glass. A anecdote about this statue is that shortly after the installation of his Pietà, Michelangelo overheard (or asked visitors about the sculptor) someone remark that it was the work of another sculptor. That is why Michelangelo signed the sculpture. He carved on the sash running across Mary's chest (Michaela(n)gelus Bonarotus Florentin(us) facieba(t). What stand for Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, made this. It was the only work he ever signed. He later regretted his outburst of pride and swore never to sign another work of his hands again.

✓ No 7 : Apollo of the Belvedere

This statue was rediscovered in the late 15th century in central Italy, during the Renaissance. In the middle of the 18th century, it was considered the greatest ancient sculpture. The marble sculpture is 2.24 meter in height. The Apollo is probably a roman copy from around the year 120-140, from a lost bronze statue original made between 350 - 325 BC by the Greek sculptor Leochares. There are numerous copies around the world. This statue has been an inspiration for different artists like Michelangelo, Goltzius and Marcantonio Raimondi. It is standing in the Vatican museums in the so called cortile del Belvedere.

✓ No 8 : Gregorian Egyptian Museum

For this museum in a museum is responsible the pope Gregory the 16th in the year 1839. It houses monuments brought from Egypt most by Roman emperors. A part is coming from Rome and from Villa Adriana in Tivoli which is a place about 30 kilometers from Rome. You can find the statues from the Serapeum from Hadrian's villa in Tivoli, which he built after his journey to Egypt in 130 – 131. Hadrian was a formal emperor of Rome. He traveled a lot around all corners of the roman empire. On display there is also the statue of Queen Tuaa, the mother of Ramses II. Numerous objects are found in the total of nine rooms from this museum, like Egyptian mummies, sarcophagi, vases, statues, jewelry, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. The Museum is located at the northern end of the lower floor.

✓ No 9 : Hercules

This statue is made of bronze and was discovered in 1864 near the Theater of Pompey. It is called the Hercules of the Theater of Pompey. It had been carefully buried under protective tiles, in this tiles was written FCS which stand for ''fulgor conditum summanium'' saying that the statue had been struck by lightning and had been carefully interred on the spot. It is dating back to the early 2nd century. You can find it in the so called circular hall in the Vatican museums.

✓ No 10 : Nero's porphyry bathtub

This porphyry bathtub was from the famous Emperor Nero (54-68 AD). Porphyry is the Greek word for purple. Porphyry is extremely hard, dense and very heavy. The source of the name is the Greek word for purple. It is made out of the biggest piece of Porphyry ever found and has been taken from Nero's golden palace (Domus aurea) in Rome, which was situated close to the Colosseum. The marble is from Egypt. It is a very expensive marble because it is very rare. Today you can find it in the so called circular hall in the Vatican museums.

✓ Tours in the Vatican museum, Sistine chapel and the Saint Peters basilica

✓  Vatican museum tickets you can get online however we do offer daily walking tours into the The Vatican museums, the Sistine chapel na Saint Peter's Basilica (prices are including entrance fee into the Vatican museums) if you would wish to join or get more detail about the tour we offer you can use the buttons below: