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THE VATICAN

The Vatican

THE VATICAN

Everyone has heard of the Vatican, that’s obvious! Through films, books, reports… but what do you really know about this small state located in the heart of Rome? Because yes it is a country with an area of ​​only 44 ha.

The Vatican is a state, to name it in full it is the Vatican City State, (in Italian Stato della Città del Vaticano). There is the seat of the Catholic Church (of the Pope), it is located in the center of Rome.

It is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Italy with 5 million visitors per year. It’s not nothing! It is better to prepare your visit with care and method to capture the maximum amount of sensations and especially to avoid long queues. It is also a destination full of monuments and museums, each the most incredible. The Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica, we will tell you about them below.

The Vatican is a must-see on your trip to Rome. Everything is impressive!

This article is written following our family trip: 2 adults + 2 children (5 and 9 years old). We made our stay the first week of September. You should know that Rome is very popular with travelers between March and September. So a word of advice: prepare your trip in advance.

What to visit in the Vatican?

WHAT TO VISIT IN THE VATICAN?

THE PLACE SAINT-PIERRE

To get you in the mood, this monumental square gives you a glimpse of the grandeur of the VaticanVATICAN & SISTINE CHAPEL. Pontifical Masses are held here, accommodating up to 300,000 people. It is also here that you can witness an endless ballet of visitors from all over the world. It’s truly impressive to see all nationalities, all faiths concentrated in one place.

The most striking are the columns that line the square. In all, 140 statues proudly stand above the colonnades. Several sculptors participated in the creation of the statues including Lazzaro Morelli, Giacomo Antonio Fancelli, Pierre-Étienne Monnot, Jean-Baptiste Théodon, Giovanni Maria Baratta, Bartolommeo Cennini.

Free visit.
Security passage at the Rome / Vatican border.
Provide comfortable shoes and appropriate attire.

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Saint Peters Basilica credits_Djami
 

THE BASILICA OF SAINT-PIERRE

There are treasures in the world, and what is certain is that St. Peter’s Basilica is one of them. You have certainly visited many churches in your life, but what happens when you walk through the threshold of this Basilica is unique. I don’t know what it is. Its dimensions, the richness of the ornaments and statues found there.

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican owes its name to the tradition that the apostle Peter’s burial place is located there.

Already, during Peter’s lifetime, after the crucifixion of Christ, the Acts of the Apostles relate the fact that he held an important place in the nascent Christian Church. Indeed, Christ had told him: “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church.”

We loved it:

  • Michelangelo’s Pietà
  • The dome
  • The bells
  • The nave
  • The canopy
  • Chair of Saint-Pierre

We liked less:

The 45-minute queue outside in bright sunlight. Better to have a skip-the-line ticket.

Prices:

Access to the Basilica is free, but if you want to skip the line, you can book your ticket here.

THE SISTINE CHAPEL

The Sistine Chapel is one of the must-see visits to plan during your stay in Rome. You can access it by visiting the Vatican Museums.

It takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who was responsible for the restoration of the Cappella Magna between 1477 and 1480.
What makes the Sistine Chapel exceptional are the frescoes on the walls and ceilings. The most notable and famous of all is the fresco painted by Michelangelo: “Last Judgment”. This testifies to the genius of Michelangelo as a painter and his evolution as an artist.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was best known for his talents as a sculptor.
Known the world over as Michelangelo, the Florentine was only 24 when he sculpted his famous “Pietà” on display in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, a tender representation of the Virgin Mary on which rests the lifeless body of his son.

We also know his imposing statue of David which had revealed his mastery of sculpting human bodies. You can admire this work at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.

We loved it:

Sit in the Sistine Chapel and admire the frescoes painted on the walls.

We liked less:

The crowd to access the Sistine Chapel. Fortunately we had reserved skip-the-line tickets in advance. It saved us a long wait at the entrance.

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THE NECROPOLIS – The little-known cemetery

The Vatican necropolis or Scavi is a curiosity that is located under Vatican City. It is true that it is less well known than Saint Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican Museums. It’s also hard to imagine that back in the day the Vatican was a huge open-air cemetery.
It was unearthed only during the half of the 20th century, at the end of the 90s.

The Vatican necropolis is located between 5 and 10 meters deep under the Vatican. Archaeologists dig to find evidence that has uncovered 2,000 years of history.
This very fragile sanctuary was abandoned and completely covered up before being preserved. which explains the limited number of visits.

THE SISTINE CHAPEL

The Sistine Chapel is one of the must-see visits to plan during your stay in Rome. You can access it by visiting the Vatican Museums.

It takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who was responsible for the restoration of the Cappella Magna between 1477 and 1480.
What makes the Sistine Chapel exceptional are the frescoes on the walls and ceilings. The most notable and famous of all is the fresco painted by Michelangelo: “Last Judgment”. This testifies to the genius of Michelangelo as a painter and his evolution as an artist.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was best known for his talents as a sculptor.
Known the world over as Michelangelo, the Florentine was only 24 when he sculpted his famous “Pietà” on display in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, a tender representation of the Virgin Mary on which rests the lifeless body of his son.

We also know his imposing statue of David which had revealed his mastery of sculpting human bodies. You can admire this work at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.

We loved it:

Sit in the Sistine Chapel and admire the frescoes painted on the walls.

We liked less:

The crowd to access the Sistine Chapel. Fortunately we had reserved skip-the-line tickets in advance. It saved us a long wait at the entrance.

Sixtine_chapel_leonardo_express