Main Sacristy room at St. Peter’s Basilica. Creative commons photo by Berthold Werner via Wikimedia.

St. Peter’s Basilica Sacristy & Treasury Museum

For many people, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City may seem like enough of a museum in and of itself, with all the sculptures and paintings on display. But within the church itself is another museum – the Sacristy and Treasury Museum. You can visit the basilica as well as St. Peter’s Sacristy and Treasury Museum all on the same entry ticket (which is free).

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April 11, 2014 by
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The Laocoon and His Sons statue at the Vatican Museums

Secrets of the Vatican: Michelangelo and the Laocoon

The Vatican Museums are so extensive that it can be hard to know what to look at. Luckily, some pieces in the collection stand out, either for their artistic merit or the stories and mysteries that go with them. In the case of the statue of the Laocoon and His Sons, it’s a little bit of both.

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March 14, 2014 by
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Michelangelo in Vatican City

Michelangelo’s exquisite Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

Michelangelo is so closely associated with Florence – he’s one of the city’s most famous sons – but when you visit Vatican City you’ll hear his name mentioned repeatedly. Some of the Italian master’s greatest works, in fact, are inside the borders of the world’s smallest independent nation. And, since it’s small, you don’t have to go far to see all of it. Here’s an overview of where to look for Michelangelo in Vatican City.

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February 14, 2014 by
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Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo

Facade of the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo

Vatican City may be made up largely of the type of gardens you might expect at a vacation villa, but the pope has a summer residence, too. It’s called the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo in the town of Castel Gandolfo, 15 miles outside Rome. Like other Vatican buildings, the grounds of the palace are considered Vatican property – but there’s a town outside the palace that you might find worthy of a visit as well.

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January 2, 2014 by
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Important Tombs in St. Peter’s Basilica

The most recent tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica is Pope John Paul II

In many churches, the floors and walls serve as tombs for important citizens. Look around and you’ll see grave markers that you might just be walking over. In St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, however, most of the tombs are prominent sculptural features in the church.

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December 20, 2013 by
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Christmas in Vatican City

You aren’t the only one with the brilliant idea of spending Christmas in Vatican City, so here are some things to know before you go.

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November 27, 2013 by
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Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo sits proudly at the Vatican City end of the Sant’Angelo bridge.

The imposing and circular Castel Sant’Angelo sits on the Vatican side of the Tiber River, at one end of the aptly-named Ponte Sant’Angelo. It’s technically not within Vatican boundaries, but this building is tied to the Vatican in more than one way.

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November 7, 2013 by
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Art Highlights of St. Peter’s Basilica

Michelangelo’s Pieta is one of the art treasures in St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in Christendom, and chances are very good that it’s on your must-see list when you’re in Rome even if you’re neither Catholic or an art aficionado. For all the other superlatives you can use to describe this great church, however, you can’t overlook the incredible collection of art contained in its chapels.

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October 25, 2013 by
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Getting Tickets for a Papal Audience in Vatican City

Pope Francis greets the crowd during a papal audience

One of the highlights of a visit to Vatican City is seeing the Pope during his weekly papal audience. You can mill around at the back of St. Peter’s Square, scanning for the little white dot thta is the Pope at the front of the huge crowd, or you can plan ahead – because that’s absolutely a must in this case – and get tickets to a papal audience during your Vatican City trip.

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September 27, 2013 by
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Where to Go for Lunch Near Vatican City

Trastevere lunch spot, near Vatican City

When you’re visiting Rome, it’s a good idea to set aside essentially a whole day to spend in Vatican City. Unfortunately, despite being called a “city,” the Vatican doesn’t really have its own selection of great restaurants to choose from when you’re ready for your lunch break. Luckily, Rome does – including lots of good options in the neighborhoods surrounding Vatican City.

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September 13, 2013 by
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