The buildings housing the collection of the Vatican Museums, with their architectures and decorated vaults and walls, are artworks themselves. Wonderful paintings, sculptures, manufactures, tapestries, jewels, of different cultures and traditions and going back to various ages are on display in this wonderful edifices which once were residences of popes and cardinals: no doubt you will find yourselves in front of one of the richest and most important art collection in the world!
The vatican tour will start in the vicinity of the main entrance where you will meet your guide. After a short walk around the wall of the Vatican City state during which your guide will introduce the part regarding the history of the smallest country in the world, from the Roman age till the most recent history, you will get in the Museums by way of a preferential entrance, skipping the usual long lines.
You will climb up the spiral staircase to reach the various sections: the Pius-Clementine Museum with its ancient statues’ collection, The Gallery of Candelabras, of the Maps, of the Tapestries and then you will get to the apartment of Julius II, known as the Raphael’s Rooms, because it was frescoed by the great artist Raphael Sanzio, and then you will enter the “Sistine Chapel”. The guide will explain the Fourteenth century-frescoes painted on the side walls of the chapel, the scenes of the Book of Genesis painted by Michelangelo on the vault and the Last Judgment on the front wall before getting in, using some panels reproducing the frescoes and placed outside; once inside the chapel the guide will just point out what has been already explained. This is because the guards in the chapel require silence and respect due in such a sacred place.
Once outside the museums, if you desire, you could visit the Basilica of San Peter on your own, as in conjunction with religious ceremonies and services it will not be possible to do guided visits. In some days it will not be possible to visit the Raphael’s Rooms.