24 February 2011

A visit to Rome - Part 3

Vatican City

This penultimate post in my review of our trip to Italy is about the Vatican museum. We spent about 5 or 6 hours there one afternoon, avoiding the heat. If you only go to one museum in Rome, this is the one to see.

ceiling fresco in the Vatican Museum

The building itself is beautiful. There were Egyptian artifacts and ancient Roman sculptures and Italian masterpieces. Most of the rooms that housed these treasures were lovely in their own right since it's a palace that's been converted into a museum.

ceiling in the map room

The ceiling in the map room was particularly impressive.

a map in the Vatican museum

I expected paper maps when I read the list of things in the museum, but it's actually a room full of fabulous maps painted on the walls!

mosaic floor in the Vatican museum

The floors are also pretty fantastic, with several rooms that had beautiful mosaic tiling.

ceiling fresco in the Vatican museum

You really could have a great visit, just looking up at the ceilings the whole time.

Adam and Eve in the Vatican museum

We took the long route through the museum and were rewarded with some of the most amazing ceiling frescoes.

School of Athens

If you take the "get to the Sistine Chapel quickly" shortcut, then you miss out on a lot. In particular, you'd miss seeing the famous School of Athens fresco by Raphael.

It's not all frescoes in the Vatican museum

And just so you don't think it's all ancient stuff and frescoes, there's modern art too! On the more practical side, the museum also houses a hall full of historical pope conveyances (somehow you can't really call a golden carriage a "pope-mobile") and a room full of Vatican City stamps.

You can see all my pictures from Rome in my trip to Italy set.

Photographs and artwork by Allison Gryski. © All rights reserved.