Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel – What you need to know
Pope Julius II’s collection of sculptures formed the initial basis for the Vatican Museums and was exhibited in the Cortile delle Statue, now called the Cortile Ottagono. After 1500, it became common for Popes to make their collections available for public viewing, presenting them in a manner similar to the one today.
Clement XIV and Pius VI were the original founders of the Pontificate Museums and Galleries and Museo Pio Clementino was named in their honour. The collections of classic antiquities were formed by Pius VII while Gregory XVI created the Etruscan Museum with findings from the excavations in Etruria. Each Pope therefore greatly contributed towards the number of artworks we can now see on display.
A visit to the Vatican Museums takes in the Gallery of Lapidary Art, the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps.
The tour of the Vatican Museums ends at the famous Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s masterpiece. The Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV who restored the Cappella Magna. It was however his nephew, Pope Julius II, who took the responsibility for commissioning the frescos and hired the services of Michelangelo Buonarroti, who had already made a name for himself in Florence and accepted to decorate the vault of the chapel. Anyone visiting Rome should see this incredible work before moving on. You need to be suitably dressed to enter the Museums.
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel at a Glance
When to visit: Monday to Saturday – Sunday closed
Opening hours: 9:00 / 16:00
Ticket Price: Euro 16,00. Biglietto Ridotto: Euro 8,00. – Audioguida (opzionale): Euro 7,00.
Directions: Vatican City
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