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Vatican Museums

Listed under Art Collections in Rome, Italy.

  • Photo of Vatican Museums
  • Photo of Vatican Museums
Photo of Vatican Museums
Photo by flickr user Dimitry B
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The Vatican Museums show world-renowned collections of ancient sculpture, medieval and Renaissance art. They include the Sistine Chapel, the Galleria dei Candelabri (Gallery of Candelabras), the Galleria degli Arazzi (featuring an outstanding collection of tapestries) and the Galleria delle Carte Geografiche (the Hall of Maps; a superb collection of 40 frescoed 16th century wall maps.)

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Written by  amoore.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Vatican Museum - Total Disregard for the Safety of Visitors

I visited the Vatican Museum on the 26 April 2013. The Church Authorities should be ashamed that they are putting profit before the safety of the visitors to the museum.

There was no limit on the number of people allowed entry, making it a complete nightmare from which you couldn't extract yourself from.

This is a tragedy waiting to happen. If you value your safety don't enter this building.

Mass tourism in the Vatican

I first visited the Vatican in July 1992 and did the tour of the Sistine Chapel. It was an absolutely delightful experience. There were few people, the guide informative and the tour unrushed. I repeated the experience this last August (2007) with my wife. I was terribly disappointed.

We had pre-booked and paid for a tour in advance. The company picked us up on time in a mini bus at our hotel and took us to their depot. Here there were hundreds of people queuing or milling about. My wife enquired and was told we could join one of the waiting coaches as we had pre-paid. I had joined the queue and if not for her initiative would probably still been have there.

We were bussed to some stairs behind the Vatican. We were told to wait while the guide got some radio receivers. Ignoring the advice not move, my wife went and bought some coffee. We had plenty of time to finish it before the guide returned.

After receiving the radios we were marched off to the Vatican. It was now around 9am. We walked at least 1 kilometre along the walls until we reached the end of the queue of pre-bookings. After 45 minutes the queue had progressed and we arrived at the door.

We were then asked to move out of the queue and marshalled into a group. Our guide spoke to the officials and there was a lot of hand waving. Then the guide started to cry. Several phone calls and much animated discussion ensued. Another 45 minutes passed before we finally gained admission. Apparently there had been some issue with over booking.

We were initially taken outside and shown some fabulous posters of Sistine Chapel. The guide explained that she could not talk in the chapel so was giving us the detail beforehand. We then moved into the Vatican Museums. This was a nightmare. I have never seen so many people. It was impossible to photograph anything other than the ceilings. Even this was fraught with danger as the crowd irrepressibly moved onwards.

Eventually we reached the Sistine Chapel. We moved inside. The crush was worse. The heat was stifling and the noise was over powering. Every so often a staff member would come over a very loud speaker telling everyone to be quite. Despite the signs to the contrary, many people were photographing. One tourist was forcibly ejected when he was caught.

After an hour of these oppressive conditions we were spewed out into another of the galleries. This was less crowded but we were so exhausted from the previous sessions that we could not appreciate the exhibits.

Overall, we thought it was a lot of Euros very badly spent.

1 Reply

I agree. Hugh queues and a stand selling tat on every corner. A shame!

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