What To Do With Your Free Time in Vatican City

Though you may not feel like you are traveling to a different country, that’s exactly what you’re doing when you exit Italy and enter Vatican City – the world’s smallest city-state. But don’t let its size fool you, there is plenty to do and see while you’re there.

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Vatican City

St. Peter’s Square and Basilica
Vatican City is a city-state located in the middle of Rome. As the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, it is home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. St. Peter’s Basilica stands on the traditional site where Peter – the apostle who is considered the first Pope – was crucified and buried. The Basilica also houses Michelangelo’s beautiful Pietà completed when Michelangelo was just 24 years old. If you’re hoping to see the Pope, try your luck in St. Peter’s Square on a Sunday or Wednesday.
FREE
Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, closed Wednesday morning for Audience. Mass held daily at 8:30 am
Location: Center of Vatican City.

 

Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums make up a collection of buildings, each considered their own museum as they house displays from different regions. Displayed inside the Vatican Museums are ancient Roman sculptures such as Laocoön and His Sons and Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms, as well as works from Egypt, the Near East, and Etruria (the Etruscans pre-dated the ancient Romans in Italy). Perhaps one of the most impressive arts housed inside the Vatican Museums is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo in the 16th century.
$ – $$
Hours: Hours are seasonal, but typically open 8:30 am – 5:30 pm. Confirm online before visiting
Location: Center of Vatican City.