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Pinecone Courtyard, Round Hall, Greek Cross Hall, Candelabra Gallery, Tapestries Gallery, Geographical Maps Gallery, Sobieski Hall, Immaculate Hall, Raphael's Stanze, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, St. Peter's Square.
(The collection of the Vatican Museums is one of the most remarkable in the world: 7 kilometers of artistic and archaeological works which go back to 4.000 years ago and arrive to present days)
Tour Code & Name: RS/03 - Highlights of the Vatican (S)
Duration: 4 hours approximately
Meeting Point: at the Vatican Museums entrance bronze doors
Departure Time: 10:00 am or 1:00 pm
Operating days: closed on religious holidays & Sundays but the last of each month
For 2013 the religious Holidays are: January 1,6, February 11, March 19, April 20, 21, 27 May 1, June 29, August 14, 15, Nov 1, December 25,26
Handicapped Visitors: itinerary feasible with wheelchair
Transportation: entirely walking tour
Entrance Fees: € 16.00 regular line, in which it is possible to wait up to one hour or more. € 25.00 with reservation to privileged line, that means no line or very short line
Languages availability: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Other languages on demand.
Dress Code: entrance to the Churches requires appropriate attire: covered shoulders, long or short sleeves (no sleeveless arms), long trousers for gentlemen and skirts or trousers, long enough to cover their knees, for ladies.
Booking: tours should be booked at least 15 days prior to your scheduled arrival. Anyhow you may always send us an e-mail at any time and we will make all the efforts to meet your requirements.
Detailed itinerary description
Conducted by a qualified tour guide, start the visit by the Round Hall, which architecture recalls the one of Pantheon.,
In the Greek Cross hall see two monumental sarcophagi of the 4th c. in precious porphyry. They contained St. Helen's and St. Constantia's bodies, mother and daughter of Emperor Constantine.
In the Candelabra Gallery see a rich collection of sculptures mainly roman copies of Greek originals: Ephesian Artemis, Bacchus on the shoulders of a Faun, Ganymede and the Eagle, the Spartan Girl, etc.
In the Tapestry Gallery find splendid 16th c. Flemish Tapestries depicting New Testament episodes, after cartoons painted by Raphael's pupils.
In the Geographical Maps Gallery see accurate geographical maps of Italy painted in the 16th c. on the side walls.
In the Sobieski Hall see a large canvas painted by Polish Jan Matejko: The liberation of Vienna.
See next a wall frescoed by Podesti representing The proclaiming of Immaculate Conception Dogma.
Admire the overwhelming frescoed ceilings and walls of Raphael 'Stanze' (rooms of Pope Julius II's apartment), painted by him and his pupils.. Then descend to the most famous chapel in the world, the Sistine Chapel which has been completely restored in the last twenty years of last century. Today we will admire it in its initial splendor. Here the endowed genius, Michelangelo, spent 9 years to enchant us with the eternal paintings of the Genesis Episodes and the glorious Last Judgment.
In this Chapel Cardinals vote for the new Pope and a black or white smoke is announcing to the faithful gathering in St. Peter's Square the balloting exit. When it is white the new Pope has been chosen.
Visit the largest, longest and most impressive church in Christendom, St. Peter's Basilica, where is the magnificent La Pietà, awe-inspiring and emotional sculpture by Michelangelo aged 24 in 1499. Protected by a crystal settled after the hammerings of an insane in 1972. In 1964 it was in New York's World Fair.
See the bronze 13th c. St. Peter's statue, which feet are worn out by devote faithful.
The dome, decorated by splendid mosaics, is internally 101 m. high and its a diameter is 42,5 m.
The Papal Altar has a bronze baroque Baldachin by Bernini: its weight 82 tons and a height of 30 m.
The apse is decorated by a window in crystals with the symbol of Holy Spirit, the dove; it is in the center of a splendid gilded bronze and gilded stucco decoration called the Glory, triumphal work by Bernini.
See the pyramidal marble Stele commemorating the Stuart Family (James Edward III and his sons Charles Edward III and Card. Henry IX, who was St. Peter's archpriest) by A. Canova. In front of it, splendid Monument to Maria Clementina Sobieski, James Edward's III wife, portrayed in micro mosaics.
Leaving the church towards the right, under the Bells Arch, see the Swiss Guards in their 16th c. style colorful uniforms, sentries to one of the private entrances to the Vatican City State.
End with the immense St. Peter's Square surrounded by Bernini's colonnades and statues of saints and gaze at the mighty Michelangelo's dome, which merges with the sky above.
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