3 things you didn’t know about the Vatican Museums in Rome
A must stop for every tourist in Rome, a state inside the city. What am I talking about? It is the Vatican city, of course.
This small country of its own sits right in the middle of the Roman culture, arts and history, with its boundaries enclosed in the – let’s say it – nicest city of the world.
There are many sites one can visit within the siege of the Catholic church: a magnificent square, the porch and the columnade that are called after St Peter, and then again fountains, gardens, statues and many more landmarks. Plenty to choose from and many different itineraries, so that you can come back many times and discovering always different spots.
One amongst all those beautiful places is one that certainly cannot be missed when in Rome: it is the Vatican Museums, showcasing a massive collection of art pieces, historical mementos and ancient objects from different times in history.
There are a million information that you can read about this place, but also a lot of secrets about the Vatican Museums that nobody will tell you about.
No one but me!
Ready to hear some? Here we go.
- Michelangelo’s paintings are not only representing saints or angels.
I am not going fool, don’t worry. The Sistine Chapel is the best example of Michelangelo’s talent and a majestic work of art. The artist was able, together with his crew, to paint over a 5000 square meters ceiling and just over 300 human figures. As you just learned, it was not only saints and angels: many of the humans represented were in fact inspired by people living in Michelangelo’s times. Politicians, lawyers and other important citizens but one stands against them all: did you know that Jesus face in the infamous Giudizio Universale belongs in fact to Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, which was said to be the artist’s lover?!
- There are way more visitors than you would expect
You are getting it right: there are a huge number of tourists visiting the Vatican museums everyday. And the number is increasing year by year.
There are in fact over 27 thousand visitors getting inside the Vatican every single day: just as if a medium-large town will go on a day trip there everyday! Impressive, and crowded of course. You can probably tell once you see the queue at the ticket office. The museums are open every single day (but on Sundays and catholic holidays) since 1771: can you work out how many tickets get sold in a year time?!
- The Museums had some special closing date, which was neither a Sunday or a catholic holiday.
As just mentioned, the Vatican Museums were opened to the public for the first time in 1771 by Pope Clemens XIV and they have been open every day since. Every day but one: curiously, in 1938, Pope Pius XI decided to close the museums exceptionally on a week day. That was the day when Adolf Hitler, dictator from Germany, came to Rome on a visit. The Pope’s intention was to forbid the dictator’s access to such richness and beauty. And in fact he managed to do so.
So, tell me: did you know any of those special secrets about the Vatican Museums?! I bet you didn’t. But I will tell you more: there are a whole bunch of other curiosity about the Vatican City and other must visit spots in Rome I am happy to share with you.
So now you have 2 choices: keep reading this blog or book a customized tour around Rome.
Which one will you pick?