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  • Sunset at St. Peter's in Vatican City
    Sunset at St. Peter's in Vatican City
    by mccalpin
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    by Gypsystravels
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    Vatican
    by solopes

Most Viewed Favorites in Vatican City

  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo

    Vistas

    by DEBBBEDB Updated Mar 30, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Although almost everyone goes to the Vatican to see the Pope or either St. Peter's itself or the Sistine Chapel and has to fight the crowds and go through the Museum to get there, we tend to forget that this little country has green spaces and other areas that are also worth a glance. Sometimes you can see parts of the buildings and parks while you are trudging through the museum. So don't forget to look out the window

    Looking out the window Old stairway Lawns and crowds
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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Sunset at St. Peter's

    by mccalpin Written Feb 21, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: This photo was taken of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City in March 2011 at sunset.. I was standing on the Via della Conciliazione, just outside the Vatican City boundary.

    I took this photo because of something that Dan Brown wrote in "Angels & Demons". In that book, Mr. Brown had one of his characters stand facing St. Peter's in the afternoon, watching the light of the sun fall across the facade. I was quite startled to read this, since I and a billion other people know that St. Peter's faces DUE EAST. As you can see here, the sun sets BEHIND St. Peter's, and the afternoon sun has no chance of shining on the front of the building.

    It's proof, in case you needed any, that even best-selling authors who have made a gazillion dollars still don't necessarily know where the sun goes up or comes down. ;-)

    Sunset at St. Peter's in Vatican City
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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Map of Vatican City

    by mccalpin Updated Feb 21, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Please open in a separate window this official map of Vatican City: (click here -->)Vatican City map

    1. St. Peter's Square is the roundish thing on the lower left.
    2. Immediately above the "square" is the Basilica, known as "St. Peter's".
    3. The entrance to the Vatican Museums is on the far right at #34. (#34A is the original entrance but is now an exit).
    4. The Vatican Museums are in a number of buildings:
    ...a. Museo Gregoriano-Profano (#35)
    ...b. Pinacoteca (#36)
    ...c. Museo Gregoriano Egizio (the Egyptian Museum) (#29)
    ...d. Museo Gregoriano Etrusco (the Etruscan Museum) (#29)
    ...e. Museo Pio-Clementino (#30)
    5. From the cluster of buildings near the entrance, the Museums then stretch to the west - see #27 and #20, and #25 and #21. The areas inbetween (#26, #18, etc.) are indeed open courtyards, and in good weather, the windows of the Museums are opened to see them.
    6. If you follow this line again to the left, you will see the Sistine Chapel (#15), having passed over the line of courtyards at #14, #13, and #12 on an upper floor.
    7. Normally, the exit from the Museums is out the other door of the Sistine Chapel. This leaves you in the alley along side the Basilica, near the Scala Regia (#3). You should expect to see the Sistine Chapel last in the Museums, as you are discouraged from turning around and trying to go back from the Chapel into the Museums.

    8. On the other side of the Basilica, there is the Audience Hall (#86), where you go for the General Audiences (Wednesdays) in case of bad weather.
    9. Just above the Audience Hall is the Domus Sanctae Martae (Saint Martha's House) (#77b), which is a hotel of sorts where all the cardinal electors will reside during the conclave.
    10. To the right from #77b against the wall of the Basilica is the Ufficio Scavi (#81), which is the office where you enter for the tour of the necropolis under the Basilica.
    11. To get to the Ufficio Scavi, enter at the Ingresso del Petriano (#90), which is blocked by wooden barricades and manned by two Swiss Guards on the inside and by an Italian policeman on the outside near the colonnade (see the photo). Tell the Swiss Guards that you want to go to the Ufficio Scavi (or show them your reservation letter, if you don't speak Italian or German), and you can walk in...don't walk anyplace else.
    12. When you leave the Scavi tour, the guide may let you off in the grotto underneath the Basilica (this is the floor above the necropolis but below the ground floor of the Basilica). If the guide takes you back to the Ufficio Scavi, then you can exit through the Arco delle Campane (#88), an archway where you walk right past a Swiss Guard with the halberd always on guard.

    Fondest memory: During the conclave, the Sistine Chapel will be closed (of course), it is possible that the Museums' traffic will be routed back to the exit at #34a, so that you'll find yourself back outside the Walls.

    The cardinal-electors will be staying at the Domus Sanctae Martae, but voting in the Sistine Chapel, twice in the morning and twice in the evening. Thus, the cardinals will be going back and forth, I am guessing, by walking behind the Basilica from #77b via #72 (Largo S. Stefano degli Abissini), and #70 (Via delle Fondamenta) to the Sistine Chapel (#15). If this is the path they take, then access to the Ufficio Scavi may be halted, since the cardinal-electors - who aren't supposed to be speaking to any one - would be easily visible from the front door of the Ufficio Scavi.

    In addition to the photos below, please see the Travelogue for more photos taken inside the Vatican where visitors normally can't go.

    Related to:
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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Swiss guards

    by solopes Updated Sep 2, 2012

    Favorite thing: The Swiss guard of the Pope is one of the Vatican's highlights. I was expecting to see the usual performance of changing the guards like everywhere else in the world where the guards are photogenic, but couldn't get it. They were discreet, changing hourly in the few visible points, and the real performances are reserved for official ceremonies.

    I just have to wait for a Pope's invitation and I will let you know.

    Swiss Guards - Vatican Swiss Guards - Vatican
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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Dimensions

    by solopes Updated Sep 2, 2012

    Favorite thing: Vatican is a country of contrasts - it is one of the smallest countries in the world, with one of the greatest churches. You can´t really have an idea of its size, until you decide to picture it.

    - A suggestion to a Roman VTer: Try to install a crane in Via della Conciliazione, for instance, and I think that you may charge a few euros to thousands of tourists each day, just to go up and make a picture. NOTE - I don't need any kind of commissions, just an invitation to go up and make my missing picture.

    Vatican Vatican Vatican Vatican
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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Vatican City – Rome’s main attraction

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Aug 1, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Almost nobody who visits Rome as a tourist misses Vatican City which represents one of the most popular its attractions.
    Vatican City is a walled enclave within the city of Rome and. It was established in 1929. Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe.

    The name "Vatican" predates Christianity and comes from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount. The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields. It is in this territory that St. Peter's Basilica, the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel, and museums were built, along with various other buildings.

    You can watch my 3 min 07 sec Video Rome Vatican Panorama from St Peter's Basilica out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    Vatican-City
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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    My Suggestions on Viewing the Sistine Chapel

    by riorich55 Written Jul 3, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: You are correct! The Sistine Chapel does not allow photography or videos, although you do see quick phone camera shots. Best bet to take in the Sistine Chapel is to get an audio recording of what you are looking at and grab a seat on the side when one becomes available. It is not very light in The Sistine Chapel and not easy to read guides. I saw a number of people trying to do this with little lights and they were struggling to see.

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Vatican Euro

    by GentleSpirit Written Mar 7, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The Vatican uses the euro as its currency. I was reading the Vatican Euro is much more rare than the euro coin from other countries,,,,,,so it is best to hold on to your Vatican euros if you come across them. Might be worth something if you are a coin collector.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Look out the Window

    by grandmaR Updated Jan 20, 2012

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you look out the windows while you walk through the museums, you can see some interesting views of this smallest country.

    If you have time (we didn't) you may want to look at the Gardens which are decorated with fountains and sculptures. They cover approximately 57 acres which is most of the Vatican Hill. Stone walls bound the area in the North, South and West.

    The gardens date back to medieval times when Pope Nicholas III (1277–1280) moved his residence back to the Vatican from the Lateran Palace and enclosed this area with walls.

    A tour of the Gardens allows the visitor to be part of a group tour conducted by an official Vatican Guide. (duration of the tour is approximately 2 hours)

    Open working days, except Wednesday and Sunday.

    Tariffs full € 31,00

    The ticket includes: admission to the Museums (without guided tour), guided tour of the Gardens and rental of audio guides.

    Looking at the dome from the museum The road around the outside View from the balcony Across the hills of Rome Another view from one window to another
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  • Strikinsmile's Profile Photo

    Flying from Barcelona to Vatican City

    by Strikinsmile Written Dec 8, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Flying within Europe is easy and convenient. Thank God for budget airlines. I flew from Barcelona to Rome, booked my ticket via www.vueling.com.

    If you're lucky, you can get ticket on sale and pay a few Euros. However, make sure to travel light so you don't have to pay extra for checking in your luggage. Either that or pay luggage fees online because it'll save you a great deal than having to pay at the airport. Trust me, it hurt my pocket.

    Anyway, find out more about flying on a budget in Europe: http://www.budgetairlineguide.com/budget-airlines-in-europe

    Fondest memory: Sistine Chapel and the cobblestones of Vatican City. I felt like I was reliving a famous book as soon as I stepped into the Vatican. What an amazing experience!

    A tourist taking a much needed break in Vatican
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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    swiss guards

    by call_me_rhia Written Jul 29, 2011

    Fondest memory: Vatican City - in Italian Stato della Città del Vaticano - is the world's smallest coutry... 0.44 square kilometres large, landlocked by the city of Rome, and with a population of just over 800 inhabitants. And yet, I had always found this tiny state very fascinating - for a very special reason.

    Of these over 800 inhabintants, only about 550 have Vatican citizenship and they are mostly clergymen... what caught my fancy as a child were the 100-ish Papal Swiss Guard, 18% of the total population but not citizens. Being Swiss I had always been proud (for no reason at all) of them and had admired their colourful uniform... and what a joy when i actually got to meet one in person, the son of family friends: I was 8 years old and thought for the first time that I had fallen in love; he was 20-something and had eyes only for my teenage cousin...

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  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    Vatican City

    by traveldave Updated Apr 13, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The area that would one day become Vatican City got its start in 324 A.D. when Emperor Constantine built a basilica over the tomb of Saint Peter on the outskirts of Rome. The basilica was rebuilt and added to over the centuries, resulting in today's Saint Peter's Basilica.

    The Bishop of Rome (also called the Pope, and considered Christ's representative on earth) maintained his residence in apartments adjacent to Saint Peter's Basilica shortly after completion of the church. The Popes have resided there ever since.

    The unification of Italy between 1820 and 1870 included the Papal States (land and estates belonging to the Roman Catholic Church); however, this caused a rift between church and state. In 1871, the new Italian parliament passed the Law of the Guarantee to show that it did not wish to subjugate the Papacy. The law further provided that the Pope was to retain Vatican City and receive an annual allowance from the Italian government. In 1929, the Lateran Treaty was signed by Benito Mussolini, representing the Italian government; and Cardinal Gaspari, representing the Holy See. This treaty recognized Vatican City as a sovereign state whose official name is the Holy See.

    Nowadays, Vatican City is the world's smallest country, at 0.44 square mile (1.14 square kilometers). It also has the smallest population of any of the world's countries, with a little more than 800 Vatican administrators. The tiny country has its own post office, currency, radio station, train station, and army, consisting of the Swiss Guards.

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  • ATLC's Profile Photo

    Free entry Vatican Museum

    by ATLC Updated Aug 21, 2010

    Favorite thing: A ticket to the Vatican museum costs € 15 (2010).
    However, there are many exceptions, all well explained on this page of the Vatican Museum website.

    One thing though I want to highlight: the free entry rules. According to the Vatican Museum website:
    Free entrance: the last Sunday of every month, free entrance from 9 am to 12.30 am and on 27 September (being World Tourism Day).

    See here for the full details of all other conditions under which entrance is free or discounted.

    This is how you leave the Vatican museum
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  • June.b's Profile Photo

    Drinking Water

    by June.b Written Jun 24, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I've seen lots of people drinking from various fountains around the city and I didn't have a clue before that those were clean drinking water. So one time near the gates of the vatican city, I saw one tourist drinking on the water fountain with her hands, I took out my half full mineral water plastic bottle and filled it full.

    I should have discovered it before, then I should have save few bucks buying several big bottles of mineral water from the convenient store every day and night.

    Related to:
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    • Backpacking

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  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    Land of VT'ers

    by sourbugger Updated Apr 19, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: With 20 members listed for the Vatican city, one could claim that VT has a greater penetration rate here than in any other country.

    Rather unsurprisingly with at least three of these members claiming to be the Pope, the level of tip making ranges from appauling to non-existent.

    One member (with no tips) does at least list all the countries that Pope John Paul II visited. He puts most of the rest of us to shame - by God, he did have the wanderlust bad !

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