Since ’29, when a deal between the Pope and Mussolini was struck, the Vatican was declared the smallest city in the world, covering a total size of 0.169 square miles. Luckily, within the city’s walls there are many attractions that can keep tourists busy for a long time, so that is why when coming here to visit you should prioritize your sightseeing. Therefore, let’s take a quick look at some of the places you should certainly check out when coming to Vatican City, as following.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Built between the XVI and the XVIII century, the Saint Peter’s Basilica is actually the centerpiece of the city, replacing earliest structures for which construction begun in three hundred twenty six on what is thought to be the eternal resting place of Saint Peter. Interestingly enough, it was the sale of indulgences for the purpose of funding the building’s construction that took place in the XVI century that caused Martin Luther to incept the Protestant Reformation. Even before you enter the church, you’ll be able to see the works of various artists. For instance, in the portico you’ll find fragments of a mosaic above the central doorway and also an equestrian statue of Constantine by Bernin.
The massive nave which is 606 feet long and 150 feet tall rises to a dome 390 feet above and can easily accommodate congregations of more than sixty thousand people. If you look to your right, you’ll notice the popular Pieta work of art by Michelangelo which was sculpted when he was just twenty four. The sculpture is encased in reinforced glass.
The Musei Vaticani or the Vatican Museums are one of the most making attractions you should certainly visit when coming here. There are many unique artworks here, from Roman and Egyptian antiquities to paintings by the most popular Renaissance artists. Keep in mind that when visiting the Vatican Museums, you’ll also get free admission to the Sistine Chapel, a place where you can admire the most famous frescoes of David Michelangelo. If you visit during the summertime (which by the way starts in late April), the museums are also open on Friday evenings.
The Sistine Chapel
One of the main attractions that you should certainly not miss out on when visiting Italy is the Sistine Chapel. The altar and the ceiling contain frescoes by David Michelangelo and is by far the most popular work of art he’s known for worldwide. From the floor to the ceiling, it’s decorated by the most popular names in Renaissance painting.
Saint Peter’s Square
The Piazza San Petro or Saint Peter’s square is situate in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica and is one of the most popular squares in Italy. In fact, this is also the place where tourists who want to visit the Vatican City gather to. From this square, people can see the Papal Apartments from where the Pope addresses the pilgrims and where he also lives. Overall, visiting Vatican City is an incredible experience that is going to stay in your memory for many years to come. Just make sure to plan accordingly though, since the number of people that come here is really high.