The Vatican City is located in the center of Rome and forms the smallest state in all of Europe. The Holy See, which governs the Catholic religion, became independent from Italy in February 1929 through the Lateran Pacts. It only has 44 km² and 1,000 people live within its walls and the Pontifical House is located.

Piazza di San Pietro

Knowing the Vatican can take a whole day, depending on the visits that are going to be made and the time that you want to dedicate to them. That day it is convenient to be early in the Piazza di San Pietro and maximize your time.

The colonnade, built by Bernini in the s. XVII, is the first thing you notice when you get to the square. Via della Conciliazione, which begins next to Castelo Sant’Angelo, ends in San Pedro, one of the most beautiful and largest squares in the world. It can hold up to 300,000 people.

St. Peter’s Basilica

The Basilica of San Pietro is the most important temple for the Catholic religion. It owes its name to San Pedro, the first Pope in history and who is buried in it. Architects such as Bramante, Michelangelo or Carlo Maderno, among others, participated in the construction, which began in 1506 and was not completed until 1626.

Its interior, 190 m. in length, and 46 m. high, it has a capacity for 20,000 people. Its works of art include Bernini’s Baldachin, Michelangelo’s Pietà and the statue of Saint Peter on his throne.

CUPOLA OF SAINT PETER

The dome is another of the interesting visits to the Vatican and one of the most appreciated by tourists. It rises 136 m. over Piazza San Pietro, making it the tallest Cupolone in the world.

After climbing 551 steps, if you do not want to go up by elevator, the panoramic view of the city of Rome is magnificent.

VATICAN NECROPOLIS AND THE TOMB OF SAINT PETER

The most special visit is the Vatican Necropolis and the tomb of Saint Peter, located under the papal altar of the Basilica. The excavations are little known among visitors to the city, although in recent years their fame has increased considerably. The Vatican catacombs are the great unknown and the most impressive and overwhelming.

You must request it by writing to the Ufficio Scavi, and always book in advance, indicating the date and time you want to go.

Papal tombs

The papal tombs is another of the Vatican remains that can be visited, just below the basilica. Among all of them, the most crowded and that stands out for its austerity, is that of John Paul II.

Vatican museums

The Vatican Museums are a mandatory stop on a visit to the Vatican. Its origins date back to 1503, when Pope Julius II donated his private collection. Since then, private families as well as other popes have been increasing the museum collection until it is what it is today, one of the most important in the world.

You can visit notable artistic monuments such as the Sistine Chapel, the Rooms and Loggia of Raphael, the Chapel of Beato Angelico and the Borgia apartment; as well as the Christian, Profane and Ethnological Museums, among others.

It is important to note that they close early, so time must be controlled. You can buy tickets online and save waiting time. On the last Sunday of each month, the museums are free (the rest of Sundays are closed).

papal audience

Would you be excited to meet Pope Francis? There are many pilgrims who, when they travel to Rome, want to see up close and meet the Supreme Pontiff. If you are interested in a papal audience or in receiving the blessing at the Angelus, you have all the information on the acts in the presence of the Holy Father.

HOW TO GET TO THE Vatican

Piazza San Pietro, Ciudad del Vaticano.

Transport

Subway: Ottaviano, line A.

TICKETS AND TOURS FOR THE VATICAN

The most interesting way to get to know the Vatican and the most comfortable way to access the Museums is to take a reservation made on a tour that will take us to the most important places, with their corresponding explanation and avoid the endless queues. In this way, you can go straight away during your visit to the Vatican and you don’t waste time, which is so precious when you’re on a trip.

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