Rome Italy Travel to Vatican City

Family Vacation Ideas for Italy

Historical Vatican City and the Prati District

On your Rome Italy travel, visit one of Rome’’s greatest landmarks, the oval St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro).

This majestic square is a masterpiece of perspective and illusion and appears to look circular.

Visit St Peter's Basilica on Your Rome Italy Travel
St Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Square

On your Rome Italy travel, plan to be at St. Peter’s Square early in the morning before the crowds fill the square.

St. Peter’s Square is surrounded by Bernini’s two semi-circular colonnades of quadruple rows of columns with an obelisk in the center of the square, framed by two fountains on each side.

Dark, round, marble slabs are set in the pavement between each fountain, and if you stand on one of these circles, the four rows of columns appear to perfectly align into a single row.

Perched high on top of the colonnades above St. Peter’s Square are 140 statues of saints.

Rome Italy Travel to the Rooftop of St Peter's Basilica
A Grand Archway on the Left and Statues of Saints on Top of St Peter’s Basilica

There are tours to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica and you have the option of climbing the many stairs within the dome (a great workout), or you can take an elevator to the top of the basilica for a fee.

Once at the top, you will have a magnificent view of Vatican City, the Piazza San Pietro, and the stunning 140 statues of the saints on top of the colonnades. This is truly an amazing place to visit on your Rome Italy travel.

St. Peter’s Basilica

Michelangelo's Dome of St Peter's Basilica for Your Rome Italy Travel
See the Glorious Dome of St Peter’s Basilica on Your Rome Travel

Bernini did a wonderful job of giving Michelangelo’s dome of St Peter’s a beautiful setting.

St. Peter’s Basilica itself rests over St. Peter’s tomb and is a most impressive structure with its overwhelming interior measuring 211 m (692 feet) long, 186 m (610 feet) wide at its widest point and 132 m (433 feet) high.

See St Peter's Tomb in St Peter's Basilica on Your Rome Travel

Visit Vatican City and Its Museums on Your Rome Italy Travel

Countless of treasures are held in the city of Rome and many are here in the Vatican City, which covers 108.5 acres within Rome on the western bank of the Tiber.

The Vatican runs a separate postal system and maintains an army of Swiss Guards wearing the colourful and flamboyant uniforms designed by Michelangelo.

The Vatican Museums contain one of the World’s greatest collections of art, including Renaissance, ancient and modern statues, paintings and decorative arts that you must see on your Rome Italy travel.

To see everything on your Rome Vacations would take days, and if you are short of time, you have to plan ahead for your visit to the Vatican.

Rome Travel to St Peter's Basilica

My Top Picks of the Vatican Museum for Your Rome Italy Travel:

Apartamenti Borgia (also known as Appartamento Borgia)

Chambers of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI (1492-1495) decorated with brilliant frescos by Pinturicchio.

Rome Italy Travel in the Vatican City

Museo Pio Clementino

This exhibit contains the world’s greatest and largest masterpieces of sculptures from the ancient world with exquisite Greek and Roman originals.

Sculptures at Museo Pio Clementino on Your Rome Travel to Vatican City

Here you can see Cortile del Belvedere, the octagonal court which houses the Apollo Belvedere from the 4th century BC, the Laocoon from the 2nd century BC and the Belvedere Torso in the Hall of the Muses.

Apollo at the Vatican Museum on Your Rome Italy Travel

The Pinacoteca is an eclectic picture gallery housed in 18 rooms with works of art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

The gallery features art by Caravaggio, Fra Beato Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, Raphael, Titian and Veronese.

The Vatican Museums for Your Rome Italy Travel
On your Rome Italy travel, make sure to see: Filippo Lippi’s Coronation of the Virgin Perugino’s Madonna and Child, Titian’s Madonna of San Nicoletta dei Frari Raphael’s Transfiguration.

Stanze di Rafaele and Loggia di Rafaele

The 4 rooms are the papal apartments (stanze) built for Pope Julius ll in the 1500s and highlight the best of Renaissance painting.

Vatican City Museum for Your Rome Vacations
The 13 arcades of the Loggia were painted by Raphael with scenes from the Old Testament and one scene from the New Testament.

Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina)

The world famous Sistine Chapel, named for its founder, Pope Sixtus IV, houses Michelangelo’s stunning ceiling frescos and also the beautifully restored Last Judgement.

Visit the Vatican Museum on Your Rome Vacations
The ceiling is actually flat but appears vaulted.

The restoration of the Last Judgement reveals the true colours used by the Master and depicts the figure of Christ in the upper center, surrounded by the supplicant Mary and his saints.

Don’t miss this amazing experience on your Rome Italy travel.

Click here for information on booking your Vatican Tours.

Visit the Sistine Chapel on Your Rome Italy Travel
Explore the Sistine Chapel on Your Rome Italy Travels

Return to Rome Part 1: Rome Vacations in the Historical Centre

Rome Vacations in the Historical Center

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