Looking for suggestions on best Vatican Tours? Want to know if Vatican city tours are worth it? Of course, they are but it depends on how you do it. Well, technically it’s not a city, it’s a country. The smallest. And there is so much to learn about it while on the tour.
Eager to know a prediction about your tour of the Vatican city? There are many amazing facts like the fact that it’s the “smallest country” about the Vatican that you need to know. Only then can you consider your tour as worth it.
Follow the article to know how to make your Vatican tour worth cherishing and memorizing.
What is the Vatican? Why is it hype?
First thing first, the Vatican is the motherland of catholicism. Which later evolved as the largest religion on Earth “Christianity.” For this reason, many have their special interest in visiting the Vatican museum skip the line tickets, purchased from tour service providers. Regardless of any religious affiliation people visit the Vatican for their own customized reason.
Some visit to get a taste of primary roman history, some visit for the magnificent arts. and some to just gaze at pure aesthetics. It has a great history and a formidable spiritual background behind its build and existence.
The irony here is the Vatican is one of the sources of the largest religion but is the smallest country. Probably this adds to its uniqueness. That is why the Vatican proudly holds the crown of being one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
This small state alone owns many artistic and architectural masterpieces. It also has St Peter the Apostle. The largest religious building in the world. It has been the creative playground for famous artists and sculptors like Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini, and Maderno.
To get the best essence of the Vatican Museums I’ll also recommend visiting the St. Peter’s Basilica. And don’t forget to gaze at The Sistine Chapel. It’s inside the Vatican Museums, one of the main attractions and the hyped-up part of the Vatican tour. All of these incredible trips are available via Rome Tour Tickets. They can assist you in planning the best Vatican tours.
Amazing facts about Vatican City
One thing that pops in mind whenever Vatican city is mentioned is it is the most sacred place in Christendom. It has an epic history of two millennia. And is also recognized as a formidable spiritual venture. The Vatican is directly linked with the history of Christianity. Which adds to its appeal to the visitors.
Though it has an area of just 100 acres. It’s worth is measured with the history and artistic value that it possesses. Rather than its size. Its monarchy is managed by none other than the pope himself. Hence maintains top-notch secrecy. Yet it can’t hide its glory from its visitors.
As a result, It is mostly famous for its tourist attractions. People come to visit the Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, and Vatican Museums. The top three attractions of Vatican city that ill discuss more later on.
Besides There are numerous reasons behind the popularity of Vatican city. The reasons can be a religious or non-religious fantasy as well. Now let’s sum up our top reasons to pay a visit to the Vatican City
- It is the home of Catholicism
- Holds numerous arts and artifacts done by Michelangelo and others
- It’s the smallest country in the world
- attraction visited by millions of tourists
- The only UNESCO world heritage country
- Shooting location of Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ [wink]
So there you go. you just can’t resist the call of Vatican city whether you are deep down catholic or just a James bond fan.
In a Vatican City tour, you’ll get to see
The main things to see at the Vatican city tour can be categorized into three. Though the mega three attractions themselves have subcategories. See it as a wholesome city tour experience rather than seeing it as visiting a single spot.
The Vatican museum
The Vatican museum can be extraordinary and overwhelming at the same time. If someone guides you through the history of the artifacts and museum, you will learn the true facts about the museum. otherwise, it will seem like an endless labyrinth.
As it is the public museum of the Vatican City it is mostly jam packed. It portrays an immensely rich collection of artwork done by the fine artists of history. It has the glory of upholding some of the greatest Roman sculptures. You can also have a glance at most of the important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.
In the early 16th century, the museum was founded by Pope Julius II. The Vatican museum owns the most famous artwork of Michelangelo, Raphael, and many more famous artists of Italian history.
The rough estimated artwork and sculptor pieces stored by this museum mount up to 70,000. of which 20,000 are open for public display. It is well maintained. As it has its own administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments. Their effort can be seen in the galleries effortlessly.
The breathtaking series of galleries of the museum are filled with arts and artifacts portraying history, human psychology, music, war, spirituality, and whatnot. Want a pro guide tip? always look up at the ceilings of the museum or you will miss the best of the artwork.
It is said that Michelangelo himself stood for hours of years to complete the artworks of the ceilings. You don’t wanna miss that right?
The main galleries of the Vatican museum are,
- The Pinacoteca
- Raphael Rooms
- Gallery of the Maps
- Gallery of the Tapestries
- Pio Clementino Gallery
- Candelabra Gallery
St. Peter’s Basilica
The next turn of your Vatican tour can be St. Peter’s basilica. Basically is a church built in the Renaissance style. It is famous for its dome. which you will get to climb even. The dome was designed by none other than Michelangelo.
But the creative contribution was not his alone. Famous painters and sculptors like Bramante, Raphael, Bernini, Carlo Maderno, and many more created different elements of the dome. But it is most appreciated for its work of Renaissance architecture.
One thing I should mention here is You do not have to pay to enter the St. Peter’s Basilica, it is adjacent to the Vatican Museums. In the case of interior measure, it is the largest church in the world. Though in the smallest country. Can you even imagine? Rumour also says that it’s the mother church of the Catholic Church.
The truth is not known yet. Some argue on its behalf, some go the opposite way. Despite this argument, it is firmly believed that it is one of the holiest Catholic shrines. Some honor it as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom”. A truly historic and spiritual place indeed.
Sistine chapel ceiling. Originally known as the Cappella Magna. The most famous existing work of art in mankind. It’s less of a palace in Vatican City and more of a masterpiece artwork. It is famous for its Renaissance frescoes.
It took Michelangelo four years to complete this jaw-dropping artwork with the help of his fellow artist. The name is inspired by Pope Sixtus IV. He was the one who built it between 1473 and 1481. The chapel has played both the role of religious and functionary papal activity venue for years.
Wanna just get into the best part of the best part? Critics say “The Creation of Adam” is the best part of the Sistine Chapel. If you have someone knowledgeable about all this with you he can point that out for you.
You will also find breathtaking art illustrations of the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ. They portray frescos in each stroke.
How to make the tour worth it
A personalized tour gives more satisfaction than a crowded one. Especially in places like Vatican city which has stories to tell at every turn. You have to put in some effort to get the best out of it.
The city is mysterious. It won’t give away all its riches right away. You have to do some basic things to make the tour worthwhile. So that you don’t blame the place later on.
Get a tour guide
In my opinion, visiting a historical place without a tour guide is like watching a foreign movie without dubbing or subtitles. All I can do is admire the scenery but fail to understand the meaning behind it.
A standard tour guide will have Local Knowledge. They know every twist and turn of the Vatican city. So they can save you from wasting your valuable time. Plus if you face any sudden Problems they will be there to help you out.
To get the best engagement out of your tour consider having a well-knowledged tour guide. Who can spill stories, history, anecdotes, and some scandals throughout the tour. That can make even a gigantic museum like the Vatican an interesting vacation.
Remember the Vatican city is decorated by the world’s greatest artists. How can you miss the chance of knowing more about them as well? A high-quality tour guide can make your Vatican tour experience worthy and memorable.
Skip the line
It’s a famous heritage site. Obviously, many people will have the same thought as you: “ oh, I should go and see Vatican city”. So the place is crowded is a possibility that you can’t ignore. Hence you might find yourself waiting in line to enter the museum.
Which might drain your energy of having a long tour. To avoid all this you should go for skip-the-line kinda tours.
These tours allow you to skip the waiting line to take direct entry to the Vatican. It can unbelievably decrease waiting times to enter. Here I am talking about skipping the lines for tickets. The site is spacious anyway. So it won’t be claustrophobic even if it’s crowded.
Skip the line means bypassing the wait of either ticket line or entrance line. Some skip-the-line tour features can allow you both. It simply makes sure you don’t waste your precious time.
If you go all by yourself and think that you have seen all of the Vatican has to offer. Then you should think twice. There are some places in the Vatican that are highly restricted. Only the privileged entities can get access there.
If you want to get the best out of your tour you should also roam around Vatican Gardens & Castel Gandolfo. Two of the special corners of Vatican city are worth visiting.
Also, you can enter before the average number of visitors to get a much calmer vibe of the Vatican. It’s worth paying for. The beauty of the Vatican enhances more when it’s quiet.
Like-minded people see the world most likely the same way. Your experience can be 20% more amazing if you get a bunch of pals who have come to see the Vatican with the same enthusiasm as you. When you are with a group you are most likely to see and do more.
But the whole experience can take a 360-degree turn if you fall in a large group. It can start to be irritating rather than enjoyable for some of you. Plus the tour guide won’t be able to interact with everyone personally.
Visiting the Vatican with a large group and small group both are possible. But the experience is vastly different. With small groups, it becomes easy to manage and co-operate. Unless you firmly believe in the “more the merrier” you will also agree to be a part of a small tour group.
It just makes everything a lot easier.
We all experience different things from different perspectives. Will the Vatican tour be worth it depends on how you see it. No doubt it’s a heritage cherished for centuries and holds a story in every fold. With proper guidance and your acute interest, it can be a tour of a lifetime.
Though the world is recovering from the pandemic slowly. I kindly advise you to take the necessary precautions to stay safe. Let this lifetime experience of visiting the Vatican city be filled with joy and amazement.
To get the best out of your tour wear comfortable shoes and clothes. And don’t forget to look up at the ceiling. Michelangelo has worked for years to complete those masterpieces. You don’t wanna miss that, do you?