8 things to know about the Vatican

The Vatican City, the world’s testament to Catholic devotion, is spectacular whether you’re pious or a hedonist non-believer. The Vatican is full of stunning architecture, artwork, lush gardens and squares, with a few of history’s most famous masterpieces to top it all off!

Interested in learning a few things about the Vatican before you go? Here’s a list of eight for you:

1. It is its own state

Think you’re still in Italy? Think again. The Vatican City is its own sovereign state, with a tiny population of fewer than 1,000 people!

2. There are thousands of artworks in the Vatican Museums

You should allow yourself a little while to experience the Vatican Museums – there are a cheeky 70,000 works (approx) lining its walls.

3. It’s home to Michelangelo’’s The Last Judgement

You probably already knew this, but the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is adorned with one of history’s most famous artworks, Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement. The work is as perfectly executed as one would allow themselves to say about a masterpiece.

4. You should dress modestly when you go

Come on, it’s not that big an ask! I’m on the non-believer side of things, but there’s nothing wrong with respecting the requests of those who are running the joint. After all, they probs won’t let you in if you don’t match the dress code, so be sure to cover your knees and upper arms when you go!

5. There are catacombs below St. Peter’s Basilica

That you can even explore. Head down below the famed Baldachin to gaze upon the Vatican tombs, where the likes of St. Peter himself is buried.

6. The gardens are great for a rest

Rome is a bustling city – we know this. And in a bustling city like Rome it can be hard to find a respite from the crowds and the summer heat – this is where the Vatican Gardens enter. These vibrant, lush gardens grant you a calm, cooling place to relax after exploring both Rome and the Vatican.

7. Lines are big but can be surpassed

You don’t have to wait in the crazy long Vatican lines – you can book “skip the line” tours and even plan your trip for, say, Spring, when the weather is cooler and the crowds fewer.

8. It ain’t hard to see His Holiness

The Pope is always hanging around, whether giving a Sunday noon speech from his balcony or a Wednesday Audience. You just have to book ahead for the Audience, of course!


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