When you think of Vatican City, what comes to mind? The Pope? St. Peter’s Basilica? The Sistine Chapel? While all of these are worth seeing, there is much more to Vatican City than just the famous tourist attractions.
What to See in Vatican City
This blog post will discuss some of the lesser-known places you should check out when in Vatican City. So if you’re planning a trip to this fantastic city, read on!
1. St. Peter’s Basilica
The first place that you should visit is St. Peter’s Basilica. This magnificent church is one of the largest in the world and is home to many incredible works of art, including Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Even if you’re not a religious person, the sheer scale and beauty of this building will take your breath away. If you take the St. Peter’s Basilica tour, you will also get to go inside the Vatican Grottoes, where many past popes are buried.
Also, make sure to visit the Vatican Museums, which are located just behind the basilica. Here you will find an incredible collection of art, including works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael.
2. The Sistine Chapel
Another must-see when in Vatican City is the Sistine Chapel. This world-famous chapel is best known for its ceiling, which was painted by Michelangelo. The chapel is also home to many other important works of art, including paintings by Botticelli and Perugino.
If you take a guided tour of the Vatican Museums, you will get to see the Sistine Chapel as part of the tour. However, even if you don’t take a tour, it is still worth visiting this incredible place. There are usually long lines to get in, so make sure to plan.
3. The Vatican Gardens
The Vatican Gardens are a must-see for any nature lover. This beautiful garden is home to many different types of plants and trees, as well as sculptures and fountains. Some people love to just wander around and take in the sights, while others prefer to take a guided tour.
Either way, you are sure to enjoy your time in this peaceful oasis. Also, make sure to visit the Vatican Observatory, which is located in the gardens. Here you can see some of the telescopes that the Vatican uses for astronomical research.
4. Castel Sant’Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo is a castle located on the banks of the River Tiber. It was originally built as a mausoleum for the Roman emperor Hadrian, but it has since been used as a fortress, a palace, and even a prison.
Today, it houses a museum with many interesting artifacts on display. If you’re interested in history, this is a place you should check out. And even if you’re not, the castle is still an impressive sight to see.
While you’re there, you can also take a walk across the nearby Ponte Sant’Angelo, which offers great views of the castle.
5. The Pantheon
The Pantheon is one of the most well-preserved ancient Roman buildings in existence. It was originally built as a temple to all the gods, but it has since been used as a church. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome.
If you’re interested in architecture or history, this is a place you should check out. Even if you’re not, the Pantheon is still an impressive sight to see. And if you time your visit right, you can even see the famous “Rome sunset” through the Pantheon’s oculus.
6. The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world. It is located in the Trevi district of Rome and was designed by Nicola Salvi. The fountain is truly a work of art, and it is worth a visit.
If you’re interested in architecture or history, this is a place you should check out. Even if you’re not, the Trevi Fountain is still an impressive sight to see. And if you’re feeling lucky, you can even throw a coin into the fountain and make a wish.
How to avoid crowds when visiting these important landmarks?
No matter where you go in the world, there are bound to be crowds of tourists. But if you want to experience a place, you need to find ways to avoid crowds. If you can, try to avoid visiting during the summer months, when everyone is on vacation.
Instead, plan your trip for spring or fall when the weather is still nice, but the crowds are smaller. You’ll be able to enjoy your visit much more without having to fight through hordes of people. Also, one of the best ways to avoid crowds is to get an early start. If you can, try to visit popular attractions first thing in the morning.
This is especially true of places like the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, which tend to get very crowded later in the day.
As we saw, Vatican City is home to some of the world’s most incredible places. From the stunning St. Peter’s Basilica to the beautiful Vatican Gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
So if you’re ever in Rome, make sure to add Vatican City to your list of places to visit. You won’t regret it!