Vatican Museums - Sistine Chapel, Rome

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  • Vatican Museums - Sistine Chapel
    by anilpradhanshillong
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    by brendareed
  • Vatican Museums - Sistine Chapel
    by brendareed
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    08-Vatican-Sistine Chapel-2-Magnum Opus

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Sep 21, 2012

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    It was left to Pope Julius II to invite Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) to create his stupendous painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, a work that took four years of intensive labour (1508 to 1512) and has the history of mankind, before the coming of Christ, as its theme. Though only 8,611 sq. ft. (800 sq. m), the ceiling is Michelangelo’s masterpiece and one of the most important painting in the world. The paintings complement as well as expiate the stories taken from the Bible and represented in the side walls.

    The gist of the paintings on the ceiling depicts the prophecies that adumbrated the coming of Christ, the interminable wait of humanity for this great event and the creation of the world. The first part has scenes of humanity's wait for Christ and the stories dealing with the deliverance of the people of Israel. The second part depicts the seven prophets who foretold the coming of Christ. The third part is in the central section of the ceiling and deal with the Creation, the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Noah.

    As Goethe said: "Without having seen the Sistine Chapel, it's not possible to have an idea of what one man is capable of doing".

    First Written: Sept. 22, 2012

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    08-Vatican-Sistine Chapel-4-Northern Wall

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Sep 21, 2012

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    Leading painters of the time like, Botticelli, Cosimo Rosselli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Pinturicchio, Signorelli and Umbria, decorated the side walls of the Chapel with various episodes taken from the Bible. Along the northern wall (left of the altar), the first painting is the 'Baptism of Christ' (c. 1482) by Perugino. The River Jordan flows along the centre of the painting touching the feet of Jesus and of John while a dove (Holy Spirit) flies above Jesus. In the background, the Pantheon and the Coliseum can be seen.

    The next is 'The Temptations of Christ' (1480-82) by Sandro Botticelli which depicts the 'stones to bread' challenge of the Devil to Christ, the 'fling down from the cliff' challenge and the 'Get thee from behind me' response of Christ to the Devil. The leper healed by Christ is in the foreground of the painting.

    'Vocation of the Apostles' (1481-82) by Domenico Ghirlandaio is the next fresco which depicts Christ calling Peter (yellow robe) and Andrew (green), who are kneeling, to follow him. Behind is Christ again on the shore calling out to James and John who are in the boat. There is also a motley collection of bystanders on both sides of the screen.

    Next to this is the 'Delivery of the Keys' (1481-82) by Perugino which shows Christ handing over the key of the kingdom of Heaven to St. Peter while the other Apostles and others look on. Judas is the fifth figure behind Jesus on the left. His countenance is dark in comparison to the others. The artist has given depth to his painting through the use of converging broad lines in the background while the distant trees, hills and the limitless horizon, suggest infinity. The poses of the figures on either side of the painting complement each other.

    The 'Last Supper' (1481-82) by Cosimo Rosselli shows Christ with 11 disciples on one side of a table facing the viewer, while Judas sits alone with his back to us. The halos of the 11 disciples are golden-coloured while that of Judas is dark. Also, a black-coloured Satan may be discerned sitting on the nape of Judas. The artist captures the Apostles’ moment of incredulous reaction when Christ foretells them that one of them will betray Him to the Romans. The three paintings of the prayer at Gethsemane, the capture of Jesus by the Romans and His crucifixion, dominate the higher area of this fresco.

    First Written: Sept. 22, 2012

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    08-Vatican-Sistine Chapel-3-Last Judgement

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Sep 21, 2012

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    In 1532, twenty years after he had completed painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo was again commissioned, this time by Pope Clement VII, to paint the far end wall above the altar. The painting is inspired by the Book of Revelation and the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri and depicts a scene where the few are chosen and the rest damned to perdition.

    This 48 ft. by 44 ft. fresco, done between 1536 and 1541, will grab your attention easily. The ceiling may, perhaps, be more scintillating but after a while your neck starts hurting. This fresco, on the other hand, allows you to watch it at a more comfortable angle. To facilitate matters, it angles out from the top not only to prevent dust from settling on it but also to give it a proper perspective as well as sense of three-dimensionality.

    Just below the left arch, at the top of the painting, there are the Cross and the Crown of Thorns and the Nails. Below the arch on the right hand side are the Column used for the scouring, the Stairs, the Spear and the Sponge. These are all the symbols of the intense suffering (passion) of Christ.

    Below that is the central figure of Christ, right arm raised as He decides on the fate of humanity, condemning many to Hell and saving the souls of a few. The Virgin Mary is to His right, face turned away as if indicating non-participation in His decision. The pose of Christ is reminiscent of the Belvedere statue, earlier in the Vatican, a pose that the famed painter was particularly fond of. To the left, we see St. Andrew, with his back to us, holding his cross. John the Baptist is the muscular figure next to him who is looking at Christ. To the left is the figure of St Peter holding the keys to heaven, a golden one in his left hand and a silver one in his right. The face of this figure is supposed to represent Pope Paul III.

    The saints are shown with the instruments used for their torture leading to their eventual martyrdom. Just below the right foot of Christ, sits St. Lawrence holding a frame of parallel metal bars like a gridiron signifying his martyrdom of being hauled over hot coal. Next to him and near the left foot of Christ is St. Bartholomew (same Belvedere statue pose), who holds his own skin in his left hand and a knife in his right hand. This is symbolic of his torture of being flayed alive. The painter painted his own portrait on this skin, perhaps to show his own unworthiness, his cynicism, his world-weariness, an expression of his tormented soul. Further on to the right, St. Blaise is depicted lying down and holding the iron combs used for his torture, St. Catherine is shown with a wooden arch with iron teeth while St. Sebastian is shown with a sheaf of arrows in his left hand.

    In the third and last section of the fresco, which is also the bottom part, the colours are darker, the misery intense and the desperation acute. In the centre, we have the angels waking up the dead from their deep slumber through their trumpets. Archangel Michael reads out the names of souls to be saved from a small book while a larger volume to our right, contains the names of those condemned to Hell. This could indicate the painter’s view of how sinful the people in this world are. Next to this is a man attempting to cover his eyes as if unable to witness the terrible events unfolding before him, his face a study of intense trepidation. On his left is a swirling mass of figures as they hurtle towards eternal damnation. On the extreme left of the painting, at the same level, fewer figures are shown as they rise towards Heaven and are saved forever.

    Below the trumpeting angels, Charon, a boatman from Greek mythology, is seen raising his oar to drive out all those condemned from his boat and send them on their way to hell. He is mentioned in the 'Aeneid' of Virgil as well as the 'Divine Comedy’ of Dante. To the left of the wall painting is the resurrection of the dead. Not to be missed is the bitterness and revenge of the great artist in the personification of Baigio da Cesena, a papal master of ceremonies, in the figure of Minos, one of the three judges of the underworld. He is depicted on the bottom right hand side of the fresco, entwined by serpents with a snake biting his genitals. Apparently, the Master of Ceremonies had roundly criticised Michelangelo’s 'Last Judgement' for its numerous nude figures and suggested that the fresco was better suited to a tavern than to a holy place. An apocryphal story goes that when Baigio complained to the Pope about this unceremonious depiction, the latter pleaded helplessness saying that the Pope had no jurisdiction over Hell.

    http://www.italian-renaissance-art.com/Last-Judgement.html
    http://www.italian-renaissance-art.com/Michelangelo.html

    First Written: Sept. 22, 2012

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    LaCapellaSistina

    by Pawtuxet Updated Sep 19, 2012

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    L to R = Me, Daughter Susan & Son Christopher

    There are many courtyards and fountains all around at the Vatican.

    We walked and walked - ooowed and ahhhhed, then we giggled, blinked, and walked some more. What a great time we had in the Vatican and all over Rome.

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    Musei Vaticani, Part IV, The Laocoön

    by von.otter Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Laoco��n, Vatican Museums, May 2007
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    “By these, we descended into the Vatican gardens, called Belvedere, where entering first into a kind of court, we were showed those incomparable statues (so famed by Pliny and others) of Laocoön with his three sons embraced by a huge serpent, all of one entire Parian stone, very white and perfect, somewhat bigger than the life, the work of those three celebrated sculptors, Agesandrus, Polydorus, and Artemidorus, Rhodians; it was found amongst the ruins of Titus’s Baths, and placed here. Pliny says this statue is to be esteemed before all pictures and statues in the world; and I am of his opinion, for I never beheld anything of art approach it.”
    — John Evelyn, “Diary and Correspondence” 18.January.1645

    Sculpted by the Greek, Hagesandrus of Rhodes, and dating from the second century BC, the marble sculptural grouping known as Laocoön stands in the Belvedere Courtyard in the Vatican Museums.

    One January day in 1506 Pope Julius II was told to that some excellent sculptures had been dug up in a vineyard near San Pietro in Vincoli. The Holy Father sent Giuliano da Sangallo, his principal artist, to see what was found; Sangallo invited Michelangelo to go along. They had scarcely dismounted their horses when both agreed that the discovery was the Laocoön.

    The extraordinary sculpture, which was unearthed in what had been Nero’s Domus Aureus, Golden House, would have a profound influence upon Michelangelo. He stated that he had always wanted to make violent muscular movement expressive of something more than physical strength. In the Laocoön group he had found an example from classical art.

    The sculpture tells the story of the death of Laocoön, the Trojan Priest of Apollo, who had incurred Athena’s wrath. Together with his two sons, he was crushed to death by serpents after Laocoön had voiced the opinion that there was something fishy about the Trojan Horse, and that the Trojans would be better off not to take it into their city.

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    Musei Vaticani, Part V, The Canova Gallery

    by von.otter Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    ?Perseus? Vatican Museum, May 2007
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    “Soon after his return to Rome, appeared the ‘Perseus’ of Canova. It was a grand and classical production, and was called ‘II Consolatore’ (the consoler), because it appeared at a time when Rome was mourning the plunder of her galleries and museums. In 1802 Canova presented to Italy the celebrated group of ‘Creugas and Damojcenus,’ which was, like the ‘Perseus,’ purchased by the papal government and placed in the Vatican.”
    — from “The Saturday Magazine” of London, 16.January.1841

    The Neo-Classical genius Antonio Canova (1757-1822) carved his two muscular boxer/wrestlers, Creugas and Damoxenes about 1800; they are now grouped with “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” and all three stand in the Belvedere Courtyard of the Vatican Museums.

    The Vatican’s version of “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” (see photos #1 & #2) was completed in 1801; it predates the one owned by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art by three years.

    The story behind Creugas and Damoxenus is as follows. Competing in the Ancient Greek Nemean Games, Creugas (photo #3) and Damoxenus (photo #4) struggled until dusk without a decision. At this point, climax was declared in which each fighter was to strike the other, without resistance, until one submitted.

    The striker was to instruct his opponent which posture to assume prior to hitting him. Through the drawing of lots, Creugas delivered the first blow, a powerful punch to the face. Upon weathering the attack, Damoxenus then requested that his foe raise his left arm. He then struck his adversary with his open fingers to the ribs in a spear-like thrust, killing him instantly.

    That ended the match!

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    Musei Vaticani, Part VII, Antinous-Braschi

    by von.otter Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Antinous-Braschi, Vatican Museums, May 2007
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    “He fell into the Nile.”
    — Emperor Hadrian’s diary record of Antinous’s fate, October AD 130

    This beautiful example of Hadrian’s beloved, Vatican Inventory #540, was found in April 1793 at one of Hadrian’s villas in present-day Palestrina, what the ancient world knew as Preaneste.

    It was near-perfect condition when found; only the legs had been broken, but otherwise it was hardly scratched. It is thought that it was hidden about the time of Constantine the Great in the early fourth century.

    Giovanni Pierantoni restored it between 1793 and 1795. Pope Pius VI made a gift of it to his nephew the Duke Luigi Braschi-Onesti (1745-1816). Ownership of the work has given it its name, the Antinous-Braschi, since the end of the 19th century.

    While the French occupied Rome, beginning in 1798, they appropriated the work as their own but it never left Rome, and it was returned to Duke Braschi-Onesti around 1801. Pio Braschi-Onesti, Luigi’s son, sold it to Pope Gregory XIV in 1843, who put it on display in the Lateran Museum, which opened in 1844. In 1863 Pope Pius IX saw that it was moved to the Sala Rotonda of the Vatican, where it can be seen today still.

    Located in one of the niches of the Sala Rotonda at the Vatican Museum the colossal sculpture of Antinous bears the attributes of Dionysos: a crown of ivy, a head band, a mystical cistus, and a pine cone.

    See von.otter’s Rome Thing-To-Do Tip “Monument to Hadrian’s Young Favorite, Antinous” to see the obelisk Hadrian erected to the beautiful Antinous.

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    Musei Vaticani, Part Ia, Its Ceilings

    by von.otter Updated Jul 6, 2012

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    Vatican Museums, Wood & Gilt Ceiling, May 2007
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    “If you wish to be brothers, let the arms fall from your hands. One cannot love while holding offensive arms.”
    — Pope Pius VI (1717-1799)

    Begun with Ancient Roman sculptural work collected by Pope Julius II (reigned 1503-1513) the Vatican Museums are at the very top of the world’s museums.

    The popes opened their art galleries to ordinary citizens in the late 18th century, and were the first among European rulers to do so, promoting awareness of art, history and culture to the general public.

    The first major museum within the Vatican was the Pio-Clementine Museum. It was named for its patrons Pope Clement XIV (1769-1774) and Pope Pius VI (1775-1799). The museums and their treasures grew throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

    When you visit, be certain to look up. Ceiling frescos, carved wooden ceilings, and elaborate stucco work on the ceiling in many of the galleries, not only the Sistine Chapel, are extraordinary works of art.

    Here is a tip that can help ease the strain on your neck from looking up for prolonged periods, bring a mirror with you and look down at the reflection.

    Some of what you will see when you up: frescoes showing St. Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine, with the True Cross (see photo #2) and St. Francis of Assisi being blessed with the stigmata (see photo #5).

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    More than "The Ceiling"!

    by Donna_in_India Updated Apr 11, 2012

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    Inside the Vatican Museum, Rome
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    We had breakfast at a café before heading to Vatican City and the Vatican Museums. The line to get in the museums was pretty short and after going through security (now expected at museums, churches, etc.) we picked up our audio guide. We like these better than guided tours because we can go at our own pace. On that day there were about 20 sections of the museum that were open to explore.

    You can become a little dizzy looking at all those paintings, sculptures, etc., but you can always find something interesting. I loved the Egyptian room with the mummies, and the huge Map Room with an amazingly beautiful ceiling.

    Of course the star of the museum is Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Cappella Sistina (Sistine Chapel). It took him four years to paint the ceiling – segments from the Bible- the most famous portion (and my favorite) being the “Creation”. Bring binoculars to examine the ceiling.

    Be respectful of the signs - if it says NO FLASH, make sure you know how to turn yours off. If it says NO PHOTOS, DON'T take photos.

    There is a nice little cafe right across from the entrance/exit of the museum. They serve really good pizza and cappuccino and are not as expensive as you would think.

    Souvenirs are sold all around the museums and St. Peter's so you'll have plenty of opportunities to shop around.

    Tickets are available online and since this is one of Rome's most popular attractions, I'd suggest buying your tickets online. Proper attire is required for entrance to the Museums. Allow a few hours to explore.

    Check the calendar on the website to see what days the Museum and Sistine Chapel are closed. Entrance is free the last Sunday of each month, which means it will be very crowded.

    Otherwise entrance is Euro 15,00.

    Open Monday to Saturday: the Ticket Office is open from 9 am to 4 pm. The Museums close at 6 pm.

    All visitor information is correct as of this writing.

    ** For several months each year (usually May - October) the museum is open Fridays from 7.00 to 11.00 p.m. Online booking is REQUIRED for Friday nights at the museum.

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    Vatican Museums - Amazingly Commercial!

    by zadunajska8 Written Oct 23, 2011

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    Courtyard in the Vatican Museums
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    The exhibits within the Vatican Museums are simply amazing and so because of these it would be impossible for me to rate the place as any less than very good. It is a "must visit" place at least once. In fact it's not just the exhibits, but also the building itself which are worth seeing.
    We visited on the day before the monthly "free" day (last Sunday of the month is free admission) becuase it was our last day in Rome. This may have explained the absence of the queue to get in as most tourist were probably waiting to go in free on the next day. The extent of the queue barriers did give us an idea of just how long the queues might get at times! We paid 15 euros to get in each and 7 euros each for the audio guide. You do need the audio guide as there are little if any descriptions of the items on display as you go around the museum. The audioguide was probably the best we had in Rome.
    Clearly the key attraction bringing most people is the Sistine chapel and the presence of the large and noisy tour groups pushing quickly forward to reach that goal does ruin much of the rest of the museum for others. Most of these people don't even seem to be looking around them as they march onwards. That is their loss. It does mean however that some of the 'side' exhibitions which are not on the direct path from entrance to sistine chapel are much more relaxed places to visit, such as the Etruscan section.
    The sistine chapel is one of those places most people want to go and see in their lives but it is suprising how small and dark it is after what you see on TV. Impressive all the same. It was a little amusing to see the signs as you go into the chapel telling people that it is a sacred place and asking for silence as the tours groups and their guides totally ignore this and so the Vatican has people who walk around the chapel saying "shhhh" all day. It doesn't work of course, which is a shame as the experience would undoubtedly be better if it were peaceful in there.
    The Rafael rooms were, in my opinion, just as impressive as the Sistine Chapel and there is a very interesting display of modern art in the Bogia apartments.
    What I had not been expecting was just how commercial the place is! Every few rooms you seem to be deposited into another gift shop. Some of the stuff seemed very tacky to me (Golden statues of the pope etc) but I suppose some people must like it or they wouldn't sell it.
    The caffeteria is very noisy but not any more over priced than most of central Rome. The staff here did seem particularly grumpy and disinterested in their jobs though, although this did start to become a theme as we went round the museum.
    During the last 2 hours of the day the tour groups start to disappear and so it becomes much easier to properly view and enjoy the exhibits so don't leave until you've made good use of this time.

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    VATICAN MUSEUM - WORTHWHILE ?

    by breughel Updated May 26, 2011

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    500 m line at Vatican museum.

    No doubt the Vatican museum is one of the major multidepartment museums in the world but if you stay only a few days in Rome is it worthwhile to line up for nearly two hours to get in and fight your way through the crowd inside?

    A VT friend asked me why after visiting and commenting six Roman museums I kept silent about the Vatican museum (except showing the opening hours)?
    Well, my wife and I visited this museum around 1995. We waited 45 minutes in the rain, were very happy to get inside where it was dry but when we came out both of us felt somewhat disappointed. We had expected more!
    The crowd in the Sistine chapel had spoiled our pleasure and what we saw in the other parts was not extraordinary; we had seen similar works of art elsewhere under better conditions.

    Let me give you some examples about parts of the Vatican museum of which similar art works can be seen elsewhere without losing your time in long lines:
    1° Greek and Roman antiquities. You can see works of art as good in quality at the Museo Capitolino and Palazzo Massimo, Palazzo Altemps (without lines).
    2° Pinacotheca. Religious subjects by great Italian painters are very common in Italy. No need to line up during two hours to see some.
    3° Stanze (rooms) of Raphael. Yes this are great works of art. Now if your interest for frescoes is a general one, not specific to Raphael, there are many other frescoes to be seen in Rome. If you came for the frescoes of Raphael you have to line up.

    The "masterpiece", "chef-d'oeuvre", "capolavoro" of the Vatican is the Sistine Chapel for which there is no substitute. Therefore, at least once in our life, we line up in the rain or in the sun for 1 - 2 hours or pay a lot of money for a group visit or several hundred € for an individual guided tour.
    I would certainly visit again the chapel if some Monsignor would take me here on a private visit. As the probability for such favour is zero I read a good illustrated guide on the frescoes of Michelangelo. Something I would recommend to all visitors because the frescoes are at 20 m height, so that the details are not much visible.

    If it is your first visit to Rome, your only visit, you can not escape the lines. My photo shows the 500 m line starting at the Piazza del Risorgimento.

    To avoid the line one can now purchase the admission ticket at the online ticket office of the Vatican museums:
    http://mv.vatican.va or directly http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va
    Details to be found in my new tips on the subject.
    See also my tip "Opening hours and tickets 2011".

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  • After Hours Vatican Museum Tour

    by sleds Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The guide and I sat on a bench in the Sistine Chapel -- under God reaching out to Adam. We were alone, the 15 other people on our tour stood at the far end of the Chapel listening to the other guides. We were the only people in the room. The Chapel was quiet, befitting its status as a church. We were on an after hours tour of the Vatican museum arranged by Helen Donegan of Italywithus.com.

    Quietly the Guide explained Michelangelo's feud with the Pope who hired him to do the ceiling and refused to pay when it was done. She pointed out the unflattering face of Pope Paul III's assistant in the Last Judgment and the painter's face on the hide St. Bartholomew is carrying. We saw the scorch mark on the beautiful Cosimatti marble floor from the stove that sends out the white smoke.

    While the Sistine Chapel was the highlight, we saw hall after empty hall. Maps on the walls, early world globes, artifacts from Pompey, papal vestments, the Raphael rooms -- quietly and without hassle, we saw it all in awe and amazement!

    Last year I read about Helen's tours, but they were fully booked. I tried to find others who provided after hours Vatican museum tours. One travel agent promised a tour for 5,000 Euros. Well beyond what we could afford, I contacted Helen again. She emailed me the 2007 tour dates. Off we went.

    Our group of 16 had 5 guides, 4 of whom give daily tours during regular hours. Three guards accompanied us. The one we walked with pointed out special things, he was clearly proud of his job and the Vatican's amazing collection of treasures.

    My husband and I are well-traveled, but this after hours tour is a highlight of our globetrotting: seeing the Vatican museum when no one else was there -- priceless.

    The current 2007 rates are 250 Euros per person. Follow these links for some reviews of this amazing experience.

    http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/862600685/m/5861077731?r=5861077731#5861077731

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20810630-5002031,00.html

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    Guided Tour of Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel!!

    by abarbieri Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you wish to Visit the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel and you are not willing to be on a long line to get in, you have two options:
    1) go there at lunch time 1-2pm when big groups are normally having lunch.
    2) book a guided tour arranged directly by the Vatican Museums with highly professional guides.
    Once you get to the museum(15 min. earlier) tell the sicuruty at the exit gate on Viale Vaticano, that you have the tickets booked and they will show you where to pay for the visit.
    The visit cost 23.50 euro per person and group will be of about 30 people.The visit will last 2 hours.
    Make sure you send the request well in advance (only by fax):
    +39.06.69885100; You can also give them a ring to double check: +39.06.69884676 (with out +39 if you are already in Rome!!)
    If you are going to visit the museum on your own I suggest to check the official opening times and closed dates on the Vatican Museums web site. Here is the link:
    http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Info.html
    I have seen many wrong information on several guide books and other web sites.

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    Vatican Museum

    by mindcrime Updated Mar 20, 2011

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    sculptures at Vatican Museum
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    We booked our tickets for the Vatican Museum online and just show our printed page to the counters where they gave us our regular tickets, it was a smart move because at 9.00 in the morning there was a huge line waiting and we just walked in while others had to wait (in the cold) for about 2 hours! The ticket is valid for one entry only so we did go slowly and tried to enjoy a bit of this big museum.

    We enjoyed the first part of the museum because it was almost empty because the majority rush themselves to see the Chapel. But there are so many top class pieces in the museum, we saw sculptures, tapestries (great works), maps, paintings, some great frescoes (sometimes covering walls and ceilings).

    You can take pictures anywhere in the museum except one hall which is the one the majority runs for:
    The Sistine Chapel is really beautiful so who cares about photography here, no picture can capture the frescoes that cover all over the walls and ceiling. Michelangelo is responsive for the masterpiece on the ceiling which is full of amazing details, you already know some of them like the iconic image of the Hand of God that gives life to Adam.

    But no words can describe this amazing chapel, you better check this 3D virtual tour of the chapel and check for yourself. If you visit the chapel you will notice that it’s a crowded and noisy place with the security guards scream (loudly) silence! Paradox… :)

    If you want to visit San Peter after the museum you suppose to return back to the entrance and walk from there but we used a great tip from another VTer, we just opened a door at the right end of the Chapel (officially is a door for groups only) we smiled and said bojorno to the guard and after 2’ we were in front of San Peter :)

    The museum is open 9.00-18.00 Monday to Saturday (except the last Sunday of every month that it’s open 9.00-14.00)

    The entrance fee is €15 (free on last Sunday of every month) and includes entrance to the Vatican Historical Museum and Noble Apartment of the Lateran Apostolic Palace (near the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome).

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Online ticket office & alternatives.

    by breughel Updated Jan 28, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best approach to skip the often extremely long line is by purchasing the admission ticket at the online ticket office of the Vatican museums.
    http://mv.vatican.va or directly http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va

    The ticket gives the right to visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel for the day of issue. Tickets may be reserved up to 60 days before the date of the intended visit (they are not refundable).
    For the purchase online an identity document, a credit card and names of all the participants is needed. Reduced prices for children and students are possible but not for seniors. A voucher with reservation code is sent back by e-mail to the visitor.
    The system is rather flexible. For details see their Help & FAQ on their website.

    If you could not prepare your visit in the above way and are facing a long line you might look for an alternative:

    If your interest is mainly for antique art you can see works of art as good, if not better, in museums like the Capitoline Museums (see here tips on Musei Capitolini) and the National museums at Palazzo Massimo and at Palazzo Altemps (see here tips at Museo Nazionale Romano). There are no lines and no crowds and entrance fee is lower.

    If your interest is for religious art you will find more than what you can dream of in the Papal Basilicas: Saint Peter of course, Saint Mary Major, Saint John Lateran and Saint Paul Outside-The-Walls. There is no queing in the three last ones (free entry). For details see here the tips.

    I realize that these alternatives leaving aside the Vatican museum are frustrating for overseas visitors who came to see an highlight such as the Sistine Chapel.
    On the other hand bad conditions of visit like inside the Sistine chapel spoil part or all the pleasure. Visiting my alternatives will make you experience some aesthetical plenitude.

    A very practical alternative for the Vatican museum, if you don't want to loose a half day in lining, is to take Metro A at Vatican museum towards Termini station.
    In the neigbourhood of Termini you find that real gem of Santa Maria Maggiore (opens at 7.00 h) and the Museo Nazionale Romano at Palazzo Massimo (opens at 9.00 h, closed on Mondays) a must for antique amateurs.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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