musei vaticani entrance
musei vaticani entrance


The Vatican Museums are a group of museums located in Vatican City. Visiting the Vatican Museums is a fantastic sight that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. The visit to Vatican museums can be long, but it’s fascinating. It allows you to explore more than twenty centuries of art and history. The rooms of Raphael, The Sistine Chapel, and the art gallery (Pinacoteca) are only a small part of a much more significant number of priceless collections. In fact, there are 54 galleries in the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel.

The Vatican Museums have one of the most impressive and sizable collections in the world belonging to the Catholic Church. They hold more than 70,000 exhibits in an area of 42,000 meters. To have the best time while you explore the Vatican Museums we recommend you to book one of the selected Vatican tours or skip the line Vatican tickets.

Galleries in the Vatican Museums

sistine chapel ceiling

The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is probably the most brilliant masterpiece of all Renaissance and one of the most influential art pieces of all European art. The Sistine Chapel was built by pope Sixtius IV and still bears his name.

lapidary gallery

Lapidary Gallery

Lapidary Gallery is arranged in the Ambulacrum Iulianum. It’s a corridor built by Bramante in the 16th century for Pope Julius II and many lapidary writings. The section is usually closed for the visitors.

chapel of st Peter the martyr

The Chapel of St. Peter Martyr

The Chapel of St. Peter Martyr is directly in front of the Sistine Chapel’s exit. It was painted by Giorgio Vasari and his student Jacopo Zucchi around 1570.

egyptian sculpture vatican museum

The Egyptian and Etruscan Museums

Gregorian Egyptian Museum & Gregorian Etruscan Museum were founded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839 and 1837. They were based on completing the collection of artifacts of the Papal Museums and giving a complete overlook of these two civilizations to develop the Mediterranean culture.

vatican city raphaels room

Raphael’s Rooms

The so-known Raphael’s Rooms are the quarters of Pope Julius II and his heirs. Their modern name comes from Raphaël, who painted the four rooms between 1508 and 1524. The project filled most of his working life and marked a turning point in High Renaissance history. With Raphael, art finally entered and overtook the unreachable quality of Antique art.

Borgia Apartment vatican museum

The Borgia Apartment

The Borgia Apartment was furnished for the Spanish pope Alexander VI Borgia. This pope, who sat on the chair of Peter the day of America’s discovery, is also famous for being apparently the worst sinner to sit on that throne.

Brenna Smuglewicz Aldobrandini Wedding

The Room of the Aldobrandini Wedding

The Aldobrandini Wedding Room got its name from the well-known Roman fresco, one of the most influential imperial paintings. It’s surrounded by other ancient frescoes and mosaics, making this room incomparable for Roman art lovers. The room has a marvelous view of St Peter’s dome.

The Chiaramonti Museum

Chiaramonti Museum got the name after Pope Pius VII Chiaramonti. It was opened in 1806 during the tense years of the battle against Napoleon. After Napoleon’s fall, Antonio Canova, the most famous sculptor, was chosen to recover all art taken away. Around 1,000 pieces of antiques were then shown with particular attention to Roman portrait busts’ collection.

Mosaics by unknown artist Medici Lorraine Coat of Arms

The Room of the Chiaroscuri

The Room of the Chiaroscuri is placed in the heart of the medieval palace. It has been finished with a series of Apostles and Saints by Raphael and fully repainted a decades later by the Zuccari brothers. Remarkable is the wooden coffered plafond with a colossal coat of Pope Leo X Medici’s arms, made following Raphael’s original project. The room is usually closed to visitors.

vatican city room of immaculate conception

The Room of the Immaculate Conception

The Room of the Immaculate Conception was frescoed by Francesco Podesti to commemorate the dogma’s proclamation of the Immaculate Conception was done by Pope Pius IX in 1854, on December 8. The wonderful paintings, narrating the dogma’s religious aspects, cover the four walls and the safe while on the floor was installed a full-colored mosaic originally arising from Ostia Antica.

vatican city pinacoteca


Pinacoteca translated as “chest for painted boards,” is an ancient Greek word. It perfectly represents this section of the Museum. More than 460 paintings spread in a chronological order recount the Christian art of painting from the middle ages until the 19th century. There are works of artists such as Fra Angelico, Giotto, Leonardo, Perugino, Tiziano, and obviously Raphael’s masterpieces, such as his last piece, the Transfiguration and the fabulous tapestries documenting the lives of Peter and Paul.

vatican sphere

The Collection of Contemporary Art

The Collection of Contemporary Art was started in 1973 by Pope Paul VI. It consists of about 8,000 works. It is partially situated in the marvelous Renaissance apartment of Pope Borgia, giving the viewer an extraordinary contrast of ancient and modern. It includes masterpieces of artists like Bacon, van Gogh, de Chirico, Morandi, Chagall, and others, making this 20th-century art collection one of Italy’s most notable.

vatican museums exibit

The Christian Museum

The Christian Museum is divided into the west galleries of the new Belvedere Courtyard. Used today as the way out corridor from the Sistine chapel to the exit of the Vatican Museums. The sacred objects presented focus on the history of religion and culture from ancient Christianity to the modern Catholic world.

The tomb of Pope Clement XIII Rezzonico in the Vatican

The Profane Museum

The Profane Museum chronicles to 1761 and is one of the first galleries ever opened to the public. It is situated in the Clementine galleries and displays precious non-Christian manufactures as cameos, bronzes, and ivories. The gem is unquestionably the so-called Hall, a perfectly conserved “cabinet of antiquities” imagined for Pope Clement XIII for the Museum’s inauguration.

Vatican city museums tickets

The Ethnological Museum

The Ethnological Museum of the Vatican traces its origins from a passing exhibition created by Pope Pius XI in 1925. The tremendous and incredible success of the event influenced the pope to make it permanent. The collection now is amongst the most diverse and complete in the world.

Laocoun and brothers statue

The Pio Clementino Museum

The Pio Clementino Museum is the center of the Antique sculpture collection of the Vatican Museums. It’s one of the first buildings ever designed to be a Museum of Art. Its origin dates back to Clement XIV’s papacies (1769-1774) and Pius VI (1775-1799). Still, the original collection was housed at the famous Belvedere courtyard already in the Renaissance. Figures like the Laocoon, the Apollo del Belvedere, and the Torso have been studied by peers of artists and connoisseurs, becoming prominent examples for developing the beauty principle into European Art.

Pavelig karet

The Carriage Pavilion

The Carriage Pavilion depicts the history of papal fluidity from the 16th century to modern times. Old luxury carriages are shown together with the legendary cars donated to popes in new decades.

vatican museums stone

Pius-Christian Museum

Pius-Christian Museum was founded by Pope Pius IX to house Rome’s early Christian age works of art. Founded officially in 1854, the Museum immediately became the exhibition area of the artworks excavated by the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology founded two years earlier. The important sarcophagi collection that is definitely worth a visit is the “iconic” Good Shepherd statue.

gregoriano profano museum

The Gregoriano Profano Museum

The Gregoriano Profano Museum was founded by Gregory XVI in 1844, and it holds findings of that period’s archaeological diggings. Fascinating are Some of the Imperial Roman age copies of Greek originals and the collection of funerary marbles.