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6 Must-See Things in the Vatican Museums

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Many people do not realize how extensive the Vatican Museum collection is. This is until they visit in person and see it all for themselves. The problem is that you do not have time to view everything while you are there. We are talking about over 54 galleries inside, with more than 70,000 items to view. In fact, it is home to the biggest art collection in the world. While this is a haven for history and art buffs, you would have to spend days there to see all of the paintings and sculptures.

Since most people are only tourists in town for a couple of days, you have to prioritize what you want to see ahead of time. This way, you do not leave with any regrets. Are you interested in what the most popular artifacts and artwork are? Here are six must-see things when you are at the Vatican museums.

St Jerome

Most people have heard of Leonardo Da Vinci. If you are an avid art fan, you will be very excited to see his work. Well, you can admire his pieces in the Vatican museums. One that often gathers attention is St Jerome. It is a sketch, as it is unfinished like a lot of Da Vinci’s work. But, it has still fascinated people for many years. Indeed, it takes on the story of how St Jerome was in the wilderness in Syria and how he would go there to study the bible.

The first record of this piece by Da Vinci was in the early 1800s. In particular, people know that it was bought by Cardinal Joseph Fesch. Eventually, it made its way into the hands of Pope Pius IX, which is now why you can admire the piece in Vatican City. To ensure you are able to see St Jerome and other popular pieces, head to You are able to buy tour tickets and secure your visit. This way, you do not have to miss out on the best parts of the Vatican museums.

Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden

Most people are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve. But, it can be fascinating to see it depicted in Art. This is exactly what you can observe when you are at the Vatican Museum. You can see this artwork by Wenzel Peter and how realistic his animal painting is. In particular, you can see over 200 animals in this painting.

The Spiral Staircase

While it was a practical design that allows for crowd control, many tours love to witness the spiral staircase. This was magnificently created and was commissioned by Pope Pius XI. While it was thought to be the entrance all those years ago in 1932, it has since become an area of the Vatican museums that people want to see. It was designed by Giuseppe Momo, known as a famous architect. 

It is likely that you have seen images of the spiral staircase. Thus, this means that you want to see it in person. Indeed, it is a popular spot and you can see what it was designed to do. What’s more, you can walk on it for yourself.

The Last Judgement

The Sistine Chapel is not to be missed when you are going to the Vatican Museums. Indeed, people love to admire Michelangelo’s work here, particularly on the ceiling. We are talking about the scenes from the Book of Genesis. But, there is another equally important art piece you want to admire. It is called the Last Judgement. You will find this on the altar wall and it was painted from 1535 to 1541. You will be able to imagine the Second Coming of Christ.

Statue of Augustus

Tourists are always fascinated at how sculptures were created all those years ago. They have so much detail and it is amazing to consider how they were made with basic tools. For example, there is a large statue of Augustus that sits proudly at the Vatican Museum. People love to go and visit it, as they do not realize how big it is in person. While it was likely part of a larger statue, you are able to view the head in the courtyard.

Therefore, make sure you have time to see the Statue of Augustus. He is one of the most famous emperors, and he is depicted as young in this statue. While it has some damage and is not the full sculpture, it is still an interesting sight to see.

The Gregorian Etruscan Museum

If you want to see amazing artifacts from ancient Etruria, then you need to make time for the Gregorian Etruscan Museum. There are eight galleries you can wander around here, with the ability to view everything from sarcophagus to reproductions of the Book of the Dead. Most items were excavated and they have been greatly preserved, featured in the museums since being founded in 1836.