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Vatican Architecture
Written by Sruthi on May 28, 2020 Share on

Top Things to Do in Vatican City for an Unforgettable Vacation!

The smallest independent state in the world spans just over an area of 0.44 square kilometres. With a population less than 1,000, the Vatican is the administrative centre and headquarters of the catholic church. Whether is casually roaming around the Vatican Museums or gaping at the brilliance of St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican has plenty of things to offer you. Don’t forget to explore the Sistine Chapel and miss a chance to see Michelangelo’s famous paintings. The Sistine Chapel, apart from being a religious destination for Catholics, is also a very important place to understand its rich history and learn so much about the City.

Vatican City in the night
Image Source: Unsplash

Things to do in Vatican City

Though the smallest country, the Vatican city has so many interesting experiences than most of the cities in the world. We have listed some of the best things to do in Vatican City, the headquarters of the Pope

  1. Chill Around Saint Peter’s Square
  2. Awe At Saint Peter’s Basilica
  3. Visit The Vatican Necropolis
  4. Meet The Pope
  5. Enjoy The Artworks
  6. Wander Around In The Vatican Gardens
  7. Photo Opportunities With A Swiss Guard
  8. Stop Over At The Castel Sant’Angelo

Chill Around Saint Peter’s Square

Located at the centre of this small state, Saint Peter’s Square is the most iconic place in Vatican City. You will find Egyptian obelisk in the centre of the square surrounded by the colossal piazza. Designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the famous Italian architect, this is the place where the Pope hosts the papal viewers. Saint Peter’s Square has a capacity of 4,00,000 people. Both the Basilica and the Square has got the name from Saint Peter, one of Jesus’s apostles. Enclosed by two large colonnades and four columns wide, you will find two small fountains placed close to the obelisk and colonnades

Awe At Saint Peter’s Basilica

One of the largest churches in the world, Saint Peter’s Basilica was constructed between 1500 and 1650. The structure is constructed above the tomb of Saint Peter, the first bishop of Rome. Initially crafted by Michelangelo, Saint Peter’s Basilica is adorned with outstandingly designed ornaments, statues and monuments. We recommend you climb on top of the Dome to visualize some stunning views of Rome. Admissions, though free to Basilica and both grottos, there are dress codes in place that needs to be followed when visiting this holy city.

Aerial View of Vatican City
Image Source: Unsplash

Visit The Vatican Necropolis

The Basilica is constructed above the Vatican Necropolis where Saint Peter’s tomb is placed. One of the most suggested things to do in Vatican City, this place is was originally a cemetery for Christians killed by Emperor Nero. The number of visitors every day to the Necropolis is restricted to 250 and a guide takes them through the place to explore 20 mausoleums, including Saint Peter’s tomb.

Meet The Pope

Pope is the head of the Vatican city and the Leader of the Catholica Church. A distinguished figure, you will be able to hear The pope addressing the audience every Wednesday around 1030 hours. Though you need a ticket to be part of the gathering, it is not charged. This is one of the most exciting things to do in Vatican city and it is absolutely free of cost. If you are not able to attend Pope’s greetings on Wednesday, you can choose to hear the short speed delivered every Sunday noon.

Enjoy the Artworks 

One of the largest Museums in the World, the Vatican Museums are a must-do in your visit to the city. Built with 1400 rooms, you will find more than 50 galleries in this historic museum. The galleries are filled with paintings and sculptures by eminent artists like Leonardo da Vinci and also features works by many Popes across the centuries. Vatican Museum also is home to many ancient artefacts collected from all around the globe by the Catholic Church.

Vatican Museum
Image Source: Unsplash

The Sistine Chapel is a part of the Vatican Museum and is known for Michelangelo’s work. You will find frescoes on the altar wall and the ceiling. Operating as the Pope’s private chapel, you will be intrigued by the Raphael Rooms in the museum that holds large collections of frescoes by Michelangelo.

Wander Around In The Vatican Gardens

What a lovely way to spend the evenings? Casually strolling through the lovely Vatican Gardens. The cherry on top? It’s absolutely free! Relax amidst the lush greenery of the Vatican Gardens, away from the busy city life. This paradise personified covers more than half of the entire Vatican city area. There are various sections in the garden that is segregated to recreate various historical periods. One important thing to note that this garden is accessible only with guided tours, You will find many splendid sculptures, mini-gardens and the beautiful Renaissance fountains. The Vatican Gardens are picturesque with the Saint Peter’s Basilica in the background.

Fountains of vatican City
Image Source: Unsplash

Photo Opportunities With A Swiss Guard

Guarding the city since the 1500s, the de facto military enjoys posing for selfies with tourists. You will surely be amused with the slightly humorous appearance of the Swiss guards. Primarily comprising of men within the age group of 19 and 30, they undergo military training as they are responsible for the security of the Pope as well. You will see them carrying traditional weapons like the halberds. They are also trained in martial arts and use firearms when necessary.

Stop Over At The Castel Sant’Angelo

Built-in the second century, one of the best things to do in Vatican City, holds the tomb of Roman emperor Hadrian. This structure has gone through multiple changes from a military fortress to the papal residence and finally into a contemporary museum. On top of the tower, you will find the statue of Archangel Michael, which offers a brilliant photography opportunity.

Are you amazed as we are with all the exciting things to do in Vatican city? We bet you are waiting for to book your vacation to Europe to explore this beautiful country. Worried about making an itinerary that best suits your interests? Fret not, our destination experts at Pickyourtrail is your one-stop guide to all your vacation problems. So, what are you waiting for?

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