Best things to see in Vatican City

A little guidebook of Vatican City highlights: the incredible St. Peter's Basilica, the world-famous Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, Castel Sant'Angelo, and more.


Vatican City Top View

Vatican City: History and government

Vatican City is settled over the hill, on the western side of the Tiber River. A wall parts the Vatican City from the other sections of the city. The city consists of St.Peter's Square, St.Peter's Church, the Vatican and also the Vatican Gardens. It is the smallest city in the world that is home to a populace of 880 people. The city is considered, the center of Roman Catholicism.

This country, the Vatican City is ruled by the Pope and is a place that exemplifies the intermingling of faith and art. For a tourist with an artistic mind, Vatican city holds rare collections in the world that comprise of sculptures, paintings, and brilliant architecture.

St. Peter's Basilica, a priceless treasure in Vatican City

St. Peter's Basilica view

Numerous places in the Vatican City area beholder's delight. Any visitor to the Vatican City is over-awed by the architectural brilliance of St. Peter's Basilica. The Basilica is built on the grave of St. Peter. The massive structure's intricate details are so many that they cannot be contained in words. Acres of magnificent mosaics and also marbles with products of art by Bernini, Raphael, Michelangelo, Maderno, including Bramante are majestic and breathtaking.

Other treasures: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

Vatican Museums Bramante Staircase

The Vatican Museums are established near the basilica and houses precious artistic works of a variety of artists since long ago and the present. It is impossible to visit all the galleries housed inside the Museum, in a day. An impressive and majestic array of statues, busts, tapestries, early icons, Renaissance paintings, and Egyptian artifacts overwhelm a visitor. The splendidly designed Museum structure has a double-helix spiral staircase that is a prelude to the unending treasures exhibited inside.

Sistine Chapel: Creation of Man

The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum is an important place to be visited inside the Museum. The frescoed ceiling of the chapel speaks volumes on the exceptional genius of Michelangelo, who created it. The Fresco portrays about 300 figures, from the pages of the Book of Genesis. The most popular painting of the creation of Adam, which depicts Almighty touching the finger of the first man on earth, Adam is a marvelous sight. The Scene of the last judgment, from the Book of Revelations, is depicted on the wall of the Chapel.

From Roman Empire to Vatican City: Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome

The Castel Sant'Angelo is another prominent tourist spot in the Vatican City. The castle was constructed for Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum. The castle served as a safe place for the popes, who ruled the Vatican. A secret passage is built in the castle that connects the castle to the Vatican. Ponte Angelo, a bridge on the River Tiber, connects Vatican City and the castle. The Castle features in the novel, Angels, and Demons by the best-selling author of the book the DaVinci Code.

Swiss Guards in Vatican

Any visit to the Vatican City remains unfinished without a visit to see the Swiss Guards. The Swiss Guards swear their allegiance to the pope and are staunch Roman Catholics. The Swiss men became popular during the period of Pope Julius II, who hired them for the first time, in the year 1506. The Guards receive military training and sport a uniform that comprises of blue and yellow striped pantaloons and jackets with a beret and red accents. A visit to the city is a truly spiritual, artistic and gratifying experience.