Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Roman Catholic Pope and Bishop of Rome, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, Palace of the Vatican and Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V in honor of Pope Sixtus V.
The Apostolic Palace
1. Sistine Chapel
Perhaps the best known of the Palace chapels is the Sistine Chapel named in honor of Sixtus IV. It is famous for its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and others. One of the primary functions of the chapel is as a venue for the election of each successive Pope in a conclave of the College of Cardinals. In this closed-door election, the cardinals choose a successor to the first pope, St. Peter, who has traditionally set up residence within the Apostolic Palace. It's a must thing to do after getting your Apostolic Palace tickets. With respect for and in view of the sanctity of the location, during the visit to the Sistine Chapel visitors are kindly requested to observe absolute silence. Guided tour groups, although equipped with radio headsets, will receive all the relevant art-historical information prior to their entry in the Sistine Chapel.
2. Raphael Rooms
This suite of rooms is famous for its frescos by a large team of artists working under Raphael. They were originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II. He commissioned Raphael, then a relatively young artist from Urbino, and his studio in 1508 or 1509 to redecorate the existing interiors of the rooms entirely. It was possibly Julius' intent to outshine the apartments of his predecessor (and rival) Pope Alexander VI, as the Stanze are directly above Alexander's Borgia Apartments. They are on the third floor, overlooking the south side of the Belvedere Courtyard. The Apostolic Palace tickets include an access to these rooms.
3. Borgia Apartments
The Borgia Apartments is a suite of rooms in the Palace adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI (Rodrígo de Borgia). He commissioned the Italian painter Pinturicchio to lavishly decorate the apartments with frescoes. The paintings and frescoes, which were executed between 1492 and 1494, drew on a complex iconographic program that used themes from medieval encyclopedias, adding an eschatological layer of meaning and celebrating the supposedly divine origins of the Borgias. The access to these apartments is included with your Apostilic Palace tickets.
How to Get Tickets?
Visit Apostolic Palace's official website for the details. You can find the many types of ticket and check prices, reductions or special free entry reserved to different visitors on their website. The entry ticket for the Apostolic Palace entitles the visit to the Museums and Sistine Chapel solely on the day on which the ticket is issued. Apostolic Palace tickets cannot be refunded. You can either purchase the tickets on-site or online. There will be EUR 4 reservation fee if you choose to book it online.
How To Get Around?
Apostolic Palace tour can be done by walking. It is a pretty big area and very beautiful to explore. The palace is also accessible by wheelchair. You can also take an open bus to get around the garden.
What Should I Wear?
Entry to the Apostolic Palace including the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Gardens is permitted only to appropriately dressed visitors. Low cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, miniskirts and hats are not allowed.
Best Time to Visit
Apostolic Palace can be visited at any time of the year on its opening hours. It could be really crowded so avoid weekends and afternoons.
Will I Need a Guide?
You won't need a guide to explore the museum. There are audioguides with many choices of languages to help your Apostolic Palace tour. Our website provides all the informations you need and you can visit their official website for more detailed informations: http://www.museivaticani.va.
How To Get There?
A special train, departing every Saturday from the Roma San Pietro railway station, will transport visitors to the station of Castel Gandolfo; from there, they will make their own way to the Apostolic Palace in Piazza della Libertà. Alternatively, you can take a bus from the city center.
It is not permitted to bring alcoholic and super alcoholic beverages inside the Vatican Museums (these must be left in the cloakroom for the duration of the visit). It is forbidden to consume food and drink inside the exhibition halls. Visitors can however store any type of food and/or drink in their possession in the cloakroom free of charge. It is permitted to take photographs, for personal use only, of the works in all areas of the Vatican Museums, apart from the Sistine Chapel. Flash photography is strictly forbidden. In the Sistine Chapel it is forbidden to take photographs or films with any type of electronic equipment.