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Top 10 masterpieces to see at the Vatican Museums: let's find out together

About Vatican


7 km length and millions of visitors every year: these are only some features of Vatican Museums, where you can discover treasures from all over the world.

Which are the top 10 masterpieces that you can’t really miss out?

In this week’s article, you will discover both the renowned and secret ones. Are you ready?

  1. Sistine Chapel

    Seeing Sistine Chapel is the true reason why most of the have a tour here, and there’s no need to wonder why. Sistine Chapel is the real Michelangelo masterpiece, renowned worldwide. Its most remarkable part is the Creation of Adam fresco, that covers the central area of Sistine Chapel famous ceiling. Also, don’t forget to take your time to admire the wonderful Last Judgement. Michelangelo did his best, working on it with accuracy on every detail. It is a definitely worth spending your time here.

  2. Bramante and Spiral Staircase

    Bramante Staircase, located in the Vatican area inside Pio-Clementine Museum closed to the general public, and the Spiral Staircase located at the end of the Museums has for sure something in common. Are you eager to know what I am talking about? They share the same helical shape. In fact, during the construction of the most recent one, the architect Giuseppe Momo was inspired by the former one, Bramante Staircase.

    The original Bramante staircase was designed by Bramante himself and connects the Belvedere Palace with the outside. It has granite Doric columns decorated the floor.

    The modern staircase, instead, is made of a recent double helix that allows visitors both to ascend and descend in a way that people who are willing to exit don’t need to meet who is ascending.

    Where can you find it? At the end of Pio-Clementine Museum.

     Discover our -> Vatican Private Tours

  3. Niccoline Chapel

    Niccoline Chapel is one of the restricted areas of Vatican Museums, that’s why we recommend to book a tour here much more in advance. It takes the name from Pope Nicholas V, who ordered his construction. The main feature of this Chapel is for sure the great painting that covers the walls of this room, recounting episodes from the life of St. Stephen and Lawrence. 

  4. Laocoön

    Laocoön is definitely one the greatest sculptures preserved inside Vatican Museums. It is located in the Pio-Clementine area of the Museums and made of marble. The statue also called Lacoon and his sons or Lacoon group recounts the story of Lacoon, that comes from the Greek culture. He was a Trojan priest, who was killed with his sons, depicted at his side while being beaten by sea-serpents sent against them by Greek divinity Poseidon.

  5. Apollo Belvedere

    Apollo Belvedere is a marble statue that represents Apollo as a handsome young archer who seems to have just released an arrow. The statue, sculpted following the Greek tradition, comes from the collection of Cardinal Giulio della Rovere and dates back to 2nd century AC.

  6. The Maps Hall

    Among the most remarkable features of Vatican City, there is also the Gallery of Maps, the right place for everyone who loves geography and history. As it is easy to guess, this amazing gallery contains geographic maps representing Italy from North to South.

    Some examples? Maps are organized in a way that while entering the great gallery, you will be surrounded by paintings. Italy is depicted being split in 2 by the Apennines. On one side you will find maps of the Thyrrenian sea and its Coast and cities such as Genoa, while on the other you will discover the Adriatic Sea and Ports such as Venice and Ancona.

  7. Egyptian Museums

    If you are traveling with your family of both adults and kids, then you can’t really miss out the Egyptian Area of Vatican Museums, not only because fun is guaranteed but also because it is one of the best Egyptian collection in Italy.

    These part of the Museums is divided among 9 rooms where you will explore Ancient Egypt history and culture discovering papyruses, scary mummies and many more! 

  8. Raphael Rooms – The School of Athens

    One of the “must-do” stops along your exploration of Vatican Museums is for sure Raphael Rooms. They are called in this way due to the painter who decorated it: Raphael himself.  Raphael rooms are a group of 4 rooms built to be a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II. In one of this rooms, called Stanza della Segnatura, you will admire the breathtaking fresco representing The School of Athens, of-of the most renowned one from Renaissance period.

    In this stunning fresco, Raphael represents different branches of knowledge using also perspective elements.

  9. The Pinecone Courtyard

    This central courtyard takes his name from its main feature, the great bronze pine cone located right here. The pine cone-shaped sculpture dates back to the Roman period and was originally part of a fountain, while nowadays it decorates a large niche in the Vatican wall. 

  10. Rotunda Room and Porphyry Basin

    The Round Room or Rotunda Room is a beautiful room modeled after the Pantheon, in fact, it has quite the same vault (with a smaller dimension). The floor is decorated with a colorful roman mosaic, once part of an ancient villa. The red wall is adorned with small niches, each of them containing marble colossal statues.

    Whatsmore, at the very center of this Rond Room, you will find a red porphyry basin that Emperor Nero used to use as a bathtub.

    This is our special top 10 about Vatican masterpieces. Which are your Vatican Museums must see? Leave us a message and let us know your preferences! 

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