Throughout nearly 3,000 years of history, Rome has created and produced innumerable masterpieces and artifacts that are now preserved in its museums and art galleries. Some of the most famous works of art are held in the Vatican Museums.
The Vatican Museums consist of 12 complexes and over 1300 rooms. They're simply enormous. You won't be able to see the whole lot in one afternoon. It's best to spend a few days here in order to get a true appreciation of their magnitude and beauty.
However, if time is a factor, make sure you see the most important ones: The Sistine Chapel, the Rooms of Rafael, the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Octagonal Courtyard, and the Belvedere Torso.
Inside the museums you'll find a wide variety of art mediums; from Belgian woven tapestries designed by Rafael, to Painted Galleries of Maps showing all of Italy, dating as far back as 1580.
The value of these museums and art galleries goes far beyond mere aesthetics. Apart from their obvious beauty, they also give a fascinating insight into various historical and cultural eras of Rome and of the western world.
Open March 1-October 29/December 20-December 30 8:45a-3:45p, rest of year 8:45a-12:45p. Closed Sunday except the last Sunday of each month wherein admission is free from 9:00a-1:45p
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