Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Visiting Vatican Museum

Sunday Morning
At the Vatican 

If you are planning to visit the Vatican Museum on Sunday, you'll need to get there early and be prepared to wait.   Sunday is free admission to the  museums.   Doors open at 9 AM. but crowds line up much earlier.   We got there around 8:40 AM and finally were inside the museum at 10:30 AM.

While waiting in line be prepared to be approached by guides that suggest that you join their tour for the low price of 25€ per person.  They will claim that they have a tour entering the museum right now, or in 15 minutes.

In reality, they have someone in line that they will bring you to, and you'll have to cut in front of people that have been waiting for an hour or more.   You won't be making any friends when you do this and you won't be getting a guided tour either.

It can be very warm standing in line, so you might want an umbrella, even if no rain is in the forecast.   Bring some water with you, or buy a bottle from a street vendor.  Before you know it, you'll be at the front of the line.   Once the museum opens, the line does move quickly.

More Photos:    

Vatican Museum Line
Vatican Museum Part 2

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.

There are several different tours you can follow once inside the Vatican Museum.   The highlight of the tour is the Sistine Chapel, so be sure to follow one of the signs that lead there.   Since the museum itself closes in early afternoon, you'll want to complete the inside touring before the courtyard.    After you are done at the museum, continue your tour of the Vatican at St. Peter's Basilica.

Your visit to the Vatican, including the Museums, will involve lots of walking.   There are several steep and winding staircases that you'll need to navigate along the way.  Check out the albums we have posted on our Facebook Fan Page to get an idea of the walking.   Plan to spend several hours at the Vatican and you still won't see it all.

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