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Vatican Museums

The Popes' museums

  • L. Mariani

There is much more than a museum, when you visit the Musei Vaticani, the visitor can have the chance also to see the Apostolic Palace and the old Private Rooms, which belonged to the Popes of the past, this includes Borgia's Apartment with its decoration painted by Pinturicchio and Giulio II rooms with its Raffaello's frescos. The museums were founded by Pope Giulio II in 1506. You can also visit the so called Niccolina's Chapel, its name is due to the fact that was Pope Niccolò II to ask Beato Angelico to paint it. Of course, the most important part is the Sistine Chapel thanks to Pope Sisto V, who wanted it so much.

The Sistine Chapel is so full of history and myth. The first frescos are those of the lateral walls, they were painted by artist like Botticelli and del Ghirlandaio. The rest was painted by Michelangelo, where we can find more than 300 figures and it took more than four years to finish only the first part this masterpiece. Thirty years later he came back to paint his last work, Last Judgment Day.

These great museums have a collection, which goes back through centuries and they belong to the Vatican State, some were bought some other were given as gifts. This is why we can find an important Egyptian and Roman collection like the famous statue of Laocoonte. We can also find works of art from Giotto, Raffaello, Leonardo, Tiziano, Caravaggio and modern artist like Van Gogh, Matisse, Chagall ...