Friday, March 30, 2012

Vatican Museums & Picture Gallery

Viale Vaticano

The Vatican Palace holds one of the largest art collections founded in the 16th century by Pope Julius II.
Later Popes added other museums and galleries over the centuries.
Access to the Sistine Chapel with frescoes by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Peregino and Ghirlandaio is though the museums which include The Borgia Apartments by Pinturicchio, The apartments of Pius V by Giorgio Vasari and The Raphael Rooms commissioned by Pope Julius II.
The Vatican Picture Gallery holds a huge collection of priceless artworks and the museums house tapestries, Etruscan and Egyptian mummies, sarcophagi and pottery, early Greek and Roman Statues (some from Hadrian's Villa), mosaics and glassware, early Christian inscriptions from the catacombs and ancient cemeteries of Ostia, Porto and Rome.

Artists in the Pinacoteca Vaticana
Beato Angelico
Pietro da Cortona
Filippo Lippi
Ludovico Carracci
Guido Reni
Orazio Gentileschi

The Vatican Museums are not included in the Roma Pass as the Vatican City is a separate state from Rome.
The ticket office is open from 9am until 4pm.
The Museum is closed on Sundays.
Tickets can be bought online to skip the queue which is usually very, very long.

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Helpful Hints

Getting Around

I found walking Rome was the best way to see everything.

The metro, trams and buses are also an easy and cheap option.

Buses and the metro can get crowded. Tickets must be bought before boarding and validated.

Beware of pickpockets.

Buses 40 (express) and 64 start at Termini and end near Saint Peter's, traveling past places of interest, returning the same way.

Some stops along the 64 route are:


Piazza Venezia

Via Nazionale

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Bus 75 takes you past the Colosseum to Trastevere

Bus 910 takes you to Villa Borghese

Ticket Options

€1.50 B.I.T (Biglietto Integrato a Tempo) is the standard ticket valid for one metro, unlimited tram or bus rides within 100 minutes.

€7.00 B.I.G ( Biglietto Integrato a Giornaliero) is a daily ticket valid for unlimited metro, tram, bus and train travel within Rome.

Purchasing Bus and Metro tickets.

Newsstands, train stations, metro stations, kiosks with the ATAC logo and tabacchi shops sell tickets for the metro, trams and buses.

Large fines apply to travelers not holding or validating their ticket. Tickets once validated start from the time they have been stamped.

These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.

other sites I trust for information on Rome are:
Rome Art Lover
Churches of Rome wiki