Attractions

Top Choice Museum in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Vatican Museums

Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century and enlarged by successive pontiffs, the Vatican Museums boast one of the world's greatest art collections. Exhibits, which are displayed along about 7km of halls …
Top Choice Basilica in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

St Peter's Basilica

In this city of outstanding churches, none can hold a candle to St Peter's, Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica. Built atop a 4th-century church, it was consecrated in 1626 after 120 years' constr…
Top Choice Museum in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Castel Sant'Angelo

With its chunky round keep, this castle is an instantly recognisable landmark. Built as a mausoleum for the emperor Hadrian, it was converted into a papal fortress in the 6th century and named after an angelic visio…
Chapel in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Sistine Chapel

Home to two of the world’s most famous works of art – Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes (1508–12) and his Giudizio Universale (Last Judgment; 1536–41) – the Sistine Chapel is the one part of the Vatican Museums that e…
Landmark in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

St Peter’s Basilica Dome

Entry to the dome is to the far right of the basilica's main portico. A small lift takes you halfway up, but it’s still a long climb to the top (320 steps to be exact). Press on and you’re rewarded with some stunnin…
Piazza in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

St Peter's Square

Overlooked by St Peter's Basilica, the Vatican’s central square was laid out between 1656 and 1667 to a design by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Seen from above, it resembles a giant keyhole with two semicircular colonnades,…
Gardens in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Vatican Gardens

Up to a third of the Vatican is covered by the perfectly manicured Vatican Gardens, which contain fortifications, grottoes, monuments, fountains, and the state's tiny heliport. Visits are by two-hour guided tour onl…
Tomb in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Tomb of St Peter

Excavations beneath St Peter's Basilica have uncovered part of the original church and a necropolis with what is held to be the Tomb of St Peter. In 1942, the bones of an elderly, strongly built man were found here,…
Bridge in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Ponte Sant’Angelo

The emperor Hadrian built the Ponte Sant’Angelo in 136 to provide an approach to his mausoleum, but it was Bernini who brought it to life, designing the angel sculptures in 1668. The three central arches of the brid…
Museum in Vatican City, Borgo & Prati

Museo Storico Artistico

Accessed from the left nave of St Peter's Basilica, the Museo Storico Artistico (Tesoro; Treasury) sparkles with sacred relics and priceless artefacts, including a tabernacle by Donatello and the 6th-century Crux Va…