The Vatican Museums are filled with artworks, sculptures, and objects collected by the Popes throughout the centuries making it one of the largest museums in the world :)
The collection consists of over 70,000 works, and there are usually around 20,000 of those on display……no wonder so many huge buildings are needed in which to house it ;>.>
Even though we arrived a little before opening time we still had to line up along the outside walls of the Vatican City for nearly 2.5 hours before we could get inside O_o
While you’re in the line be prepared for the many tour guides offering you a chance to “skip the line” just like at the colloseum. There were also loads of guys trying to sell umbrellas (it was a wet morning) and selfie sticks, but at one time when a police officer walked past they all made a run for it haha :D
(they all came straight back as soon as he’d gone out of sight around the corner lol)
As you should expect now from buildings in Rome; all of the museum buildings are absolutely huge with really long galleries lined full of sculptures from the start. It’s all amazing work and there are so many to look at.
If you go then you must also be sure to look up upon entering any new space, as most of the ceilings are intricately painted and full of colourful scenes ;)
There are shorter routes which you can follow around the museum, but you’ll miss probably about half of it if you follow those, so if you can handle the walking then it’s well worth following the complete route.
At certain points the routes converge again and the spaces become very busy; most notably this happened in the gallery of maps as you get closer to the Sistine Chapel at the far end of the museum, and this area just felt like a really long line to get to the chapel :S
This was a shame because it made it difficult to properly appreciate the painted maps on the walls; but luckily things open up a bit more again as the two routes diverge for a while after this, before joining again before the chapel.
In the areas close to the Sistine Chapel there is a chance to see some amazing work by Raphael, and these areas were not too crowded so there’s a good chance to stop and look at them properly :)
Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take photos inside the Sistine Chapel (although that didn’t stop some people :/) so we bought some postcards which show the space.
The chapel is famous for its painted ceiling but actually all of the walls are also covered in these amazing images…..it’s definitely somewhere that everyone should see in person to really appreciate the amount of work that this must have taken ^^
If you want to imagine what it’s like being there though just picture the whole floor being absolutely covered in people, all packed in together and stood looking upwards……whilst a guard constantly says “Shhhhh!” and “No photos!” :P
After the chapel there are still a lot of spaces to pass through on the way back along the length of the museum; including this really impressively long set of painted rooms with their doors all open making it look like an optical illusion :)
As you reach the end of the route through the museum and are ready to leave from the shop; you’ll see that even the staircase has to be massive and impressive in a place like this ;)