If you’re going to visit Vatican City for the first time in your life, there’s a long list of attractions that are very sought after, especially in spring and summer. It’s nearly impossible visiting Vatican City without making a reservation at least of the Vatican Museums. However, the best way to get the most from the entire Vatican City without missing out any of its incredible attractions and avoiding the risk of being stuck in long waiting queues, is by taking a tour, for instance one of those suggested by Maya Tours Travel agency in Rome. Thanks to a well organized itinerary, you will have the possibility of getting lots of information and (why not) trivia not only about the masterpieces of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, but also about the city itself.
A good reason to visit Vatican City
Vatican City is a proper country, the smallest in the world. It covers an extension of just half a square kilometre, but without a doubt it’s the country with the highest concentration of artworks! From a political point of view, this tiny country encircled with Italy is an absolute theocratic elective monarchy. As a consequence, the Pope is not only the head of the Catholic Church but also the person who rules the country and exercises the executive, legislative and judicial power. If you want to see the Pope and to receive a Papal blessing, the best way is to attend the general audience, that takes place every Wednesday; otherwise, every Sunday at noon the Pope speaks from his window overlooking St Peter’s Square: this is called the Angelus prayer. Should you visit Vatican City on a Wednesday or else on a Sunday, don’t forget to take advantage of the chance of seeing the Pope!
Vatican City: some useful information
Before visiting Vatican City, there are some useful information you may be interested in. As Vatican City is a proper country, you will need a passport to enter. If you come from some European nations, Australia, USA or Canada, a passport is enough, otherwise you may need a visa, so double check the specific requirements before leaving your country! Furthermore, as you’re going to visit a holy city, consider that you will have to observe a proper dress code: avoid off-shoulders clothes, tank tops and shorts, or at least wear a sarong or a shawl to cover yourself upon entering churches and holy places. You can bring a backpack with you, in order to keep your passport, a shawl and a bottle of water, but it’s better to choose a little one as, according to the regulations of St. Peter’s, trolleys and bulky backpacks are not admitted.
What to see in Vatican City
A complete visit of Vatican City includes the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel (with its amazing ceiling paintings by Michelangelo) and the monumental St Peter’s Basilica (don’t forget to climb the Dome, from which you will enjoy one of the most stunning panoramic views of Rome). The Vatican Museums include many sections, that are the Gregorian Etruscan and Egyptian museums, the Raphael Rooms, the Pio-Clementino (that shows classic antiquities), the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps. One last advice: even if the Vatican is crowded throughout the whole year, usually in November, in January and in February is more quiet. If you are planning to visit Vatican City, booking a professional tour guide will help you to focus on the most interesting masterpieces, learn a lot about its history and avoid long lines!