I was dreaming about visiting the Vatican since I was a high school student and when I got the opportunity to do this, I started to look for the best Vatican guided tours on the internet to find a tour, which will meet all my goals. I must say that it was not easy for me. The Vatican Museums is a unique galaxy of exhibition halls and galleries over 7 km long that include impressing number of world art masterpieces that are really captivates all visitors.
To see all the sights of the Vatican, you would need a long vacation. Unfortunately I did not have that much time. I started preparing for my trip with a virtual tours around all museums in order to decide what I would like to see in the first place.
Vatican in day tour
I decided to try the one-day tour which is offered here. The day of my adventure finally has come. Going on this trip, I already had a detailed plan for my tour. I really hope that it is not the last time I’m going to Vatican, and I hope to be back there to see the interesting and fascinating attractions.
I will try to briefly describe my impressions of what I saw:
- The Sistine Chapel. We checked it out at the end of our tour, but it left such an incredible impression on me that I put it in the first place. Everything – from floor to the ceiling – is painted by Michelangelo. Frescoes with scenes from the Book of Genesis, including The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment (on the chapel wall), are true masterpieces. They stimulate imagination making you take a new look at the world and the essence of being.
- Staircase Bramante. The original staircase by the architect Bramante was built at the very beginning of the XVI century. Unfortunately, today it is closed for visitors. You can see its modern version, created by the architect Giuseppe Momo in 1932. It designed as a spiral, that is similar to the structure of a DNA molecule. It consists of two parts that go up and down without intersecting with each other.
- Vatican Pinacoteca. The Museum of Painting consists of eighteen halls filled with the works of masters from different eras presented in chronological order. Here you can see Raphael’s latest work, Transfiguration famous for its provocation and contradictory.
- Yard Pine Cones. The courtyard was named after a giant bronze Pine Cone made in the 1st century BC. It used to be a very unique fountain, where the water was flowing from the top. In the center of the courtyard you can find a modern art masterpiece – the Golden Ball, the favorite tourists spot for taking pictures. In the cozy courtyard you can relax and have some food.
- The Pio Clementino Museum is the greatest collection of the best sculptures of Ancient Greece and Rome. Here you can find famous “Laocoon and his sons”, based on the legends of the Trojan War. Marble Greek sculpture “Apollo Belvedere” – Napoleon’s favorite work, created in the 1st century BC.
- The Rotunda Hall, model of the Pantheon. The floor is decorated with mosaics dated from the 2nd century and a giant (12 meters in diameter) porphyry bowl. It was created as a bath for the palace of Nero and made from frozen lava containing many semiprecious stones, which made the work really complicated.
- Arazzi Gallery also known as the Tapestry Gallery. The unique ceiling painting of this gallery imitates plaster bas-reliefs. Here you can see the collection of woven tapestries from the 16th century that were made in Brussels based on drawings by Raphael’s disciples. Tapestries depicting scenes from the life of Pope Urban VIII were created in the 17th century. I was truly amazed by the tapestry “The Resurrection of Jesus”. The artists were able not only to convey shadows and emotions with threads, but also to reproduce the technique of “moving perspective” – Jesus’ eyes are looking at you, regardless of your position to the canvas.
- Gallery of Geographical Maps. Here you can find maps of Italy, made in the XVII century, which are surprisingly accurate. The maps are very beautiful, some of them depict sea monsters and Neptune himself. Passing through the gallery, you can’t take your eyes away from the ceiling – it looks just gorgeous.
- Pope apartments are the premises where the popes used to live. The most famous are the Stanza of Raphael with his famous painting “The School of Athens”. Apartments of Borgia are also notable, including the main decoration – Pinturicchio frescoes.
Of course, everyone has different preferences, and everyone can make their own list for Vatican museums tours. But for me, it was the best choice. Try to include at least some of mentioned above attractions, and you won’t regret!