The Perfect Itinerary:
7 Best Things to Do in Vatican City
The Vatican is one of the most visited global landmarks, with more than 6 million annual visitors. Given the religious and historical essence of this Holy See, you'll experience immense satisfaction on your next visit. Although this Holy city only covers 44 square Kilometers, you’ll be surprised that there’s plenty to see and do while on vacation in the Vatican.
Are you looking forward to a perfect itinerary? You’ll find Vatican City attractions worth your time and dime.
Is this your first visit and are wondering what things to do in Vatican City? Then fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a memorable expedition. Here are the seven best things to do in the Vatican.
1. St. Peter's Square
Who hasn’t heard about the Piazza San Pietro? Did you know that the Piazza can hold as many as 400,000 people in a single meeting? The square is located in front of the massive St. Peter’s Basilica and takes the name after Saint Peter, the apostle.
According to the history of the Catholic Church, St. Peter’s crucifixion was on this exact spot. St. Peter’s square has two beautiful fountains that are a marvel to any tourist. The two fountains date as far back as the year 1675.
The square also has an ancient Egyptian Obelisk imported from Egypt in the year 1586. This historical statue is 25 meters in height.
While at the St. Peter’s Square, you’ll also marvel at the impressive 284 columns and 88 pilasters that flank the massive square. On top of these columns are 14 statutes of all Saints. The disciples of Bernini did these sculptors in the year 1670.
Today, the square plays host to hundreds of thousands of Catholic Faithful who pilgrimage the site to receive blessings from the Pope.
Are you wondering about the things to do in Vatican City? St. Peter's Square is a must-visit on your next itinerary to the Vatican.
2. St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica is the largest church in the world. The Basilica covers more than 240, 000 square feet. Imagine walking into a church that's 730 feet long, 500 feet wide, and 448.1 feet tall. This is the size of two American football fields or about 5.7 acres.
It will shock you that the Basilica took 219 years, 31 popes, and ten different architects to complete the project. The Basilica houses 150 Mosaics with intricate portraits of detailed paintings related to Catholicism.
If you want to learn anything about the Catholic religion and ancient papal history, then the St. Peter’s Basilica should be your first stop. While at St. Peter’s Basilica, you can climb as far up as 551 steps to the top of the St. Peter's dome to view the fascinating architectural view around the Baldachin.
3. Sistine Chapel
You have probably heard about the Pope's private chapel. Well, the Sistine chapel is among the Vatican City points of interest for any first time visitor. This landmark is where all cardinals gather whenever they want to elect a new Pope.
What will blow your minds is the magnificence of the Sistine chapel. The sites around the chapel display Michelangelo’s Fresco masterpieces on the ceiling. You’ll also view magnificent magnum opus that highlights famous Old Testament stories.
Behind the altar in the chapel is the last judgment imagery. The displays depict the second coming of Christ and the judgment day. If you’re looking for artistic expressions in line with the catholic religion, then the Sistine chapel provides a wide range of frescoes.
4. The Vatican Museums
The Vatican museums attract close to 6 million visitors every year. If you’re a lover of artistic expressions and collections of masterpieces, then your next visit to the Vatican must include the Vatican Museums. These collections date as far back as during the reigns of Pope Julius II.
The Vatican Museums have a wide range of art collections from all the Popes in succession from Julius II to date. With such extents of historical treasures and collections, the Vatican museums currently rank as the 5th most visited art museums in the world.
If you want to get the best out of your next visit to the Vatican museums, you should consider a guided tour. These guided tours will allow you to experience every part of the vast museums in the company of a knowledgeable guide.
5. Ponte Sant’Angelo
You have not experienced the best of the Vatican yet until you visit the Ponte Sant'Angelo. The architectural masterpiece dates back to the second century. Emperor Hadrian built the bridge intending to ensure access to the mausoleum, Castel Sant’ Angelo.
The Bridge of the Holy Angel spans across the Tiber River and allows you to gaze your way past the scenic view. You’ll pass by angel statutes on each side of the bridge. The statues of angels on both sides hold symbols of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
6. Look Inside the Vatican Necropolis and Grottoes
If you’re keen on the history of the Catholic Church, it will fascinate you that several Popes who died while in office have their final resting place within the Vatican. The specific area where each of these Popes lay is the Grottoes.
The Grottoes also serve as the final resting place for kings and queens and other ancient saints. The famous grotto is among the best places to visit while in the Vatican to learn about ancient saints and the church's past leadership.
7. Be Part of the Papal Address
While there are many things to see in the Vatican, there’s also plenty to do. Being part of the papal address is a breathtaking activity. Imagine singing hymns and sermons in the company of hundreds of other people.
While at the Vatican, It will be a great honor to be near the spiritual leader of more than one-sixth of the world's population. Don't let your itinerary to the Vatican end without a session with the Holy Father.
There Are So Many Things to Do in Vatican City
Are you planning to visit the Vatican soon? You probably only know a few interesting places to visit. However, there’s much to see and do on your next visit to the Holy See.
If you’re making a list of the things to do in Vatican City, you're in luck. These seven Vatican City points of interest form part of what to see in the Holy See.
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