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Vatican Gardens are private urban gardens and parks which cover more than half of the country, located in the west of the territory and owned by the Pope. There are some buildings, such as Radio Vatican and the Governor's Palace, within the gardens. You can access these gardens by purchasing Vatican Garden tickets.
A Guided Tour At The Beautiful Vatican Gardens
The Vatican Museums contain masterpieces of painting, sculpture and other works of art collected by the popes through the centuries. The Museums include several monumental works of art, such as the Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of Beato Angelico, the Raphael Rooms and Loggia and the Borgia Apartment. The Museums are usually open to the public every weekday morning and in the early afternoon in summer. Entry is free on the last Sunday of every month. The entrance to the Museums is on Viale Vaticano, near Piazza Risorgimento. A Workshop for Restoring paintings, bronzes, marble, tapestries and other items, is part of the Museums which also includes a Scientific Research Laboratory. The Vatican Gardens tickets include an access to these museums.
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest temples for Christendom and one of the largest churches in the world. Besides, it is where the Pope presides many liturgies all year round. The construction of the new basilica began in 1506 when the old basilica had been torn down and was finished in 1626. It was consecrated on 18 November 1626. Several renowned architects designed the temple, highlighting the works of Bramante, Michelangelo, and Carlo Maderno. The basilica was called St Peter’s after one of Jesus’s twelve disciples known as Saint Peter, who became one of the founders of the Catholic Church and was executed in Rome and buried where the Basilica now stands. It is a must to visit the Basilica during your Vatican Gardens tour.
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. Your Vatican Gardens tickets include an access to this chapel.
How to Get Tickets?
The Vatican Gardens entrance ticket is permitted only to visitors accompanied by a tour guide. Due to the daily large crowds of tourists, it is recommended to book the guided tour of the Gardens at least one week in advance. This booking also includes a ticket to the Vatican Museums. You can book the Vatican Gardens tickets online, there's an official website where you can book them.
How To Get Around?
Vatican Gardens tours are best done by walking, this way you will be able to see everything and spend more time to admire its beauty. You can also take the open bus with an audioguide if you don't feel like walking. The Vatican Gardens are accessible to people with disabilities, but, because of the shape of the roads and paths, wheelchairs can not access it.
What Should I Wear?
The dress code is strictly enforced at St Peter's Basilica. Men must wear long trousers (no shorts) and cover their shoulders, women must not have either bare shoulders or skirts shorter than knee length. Please cover your shoulders and knees. No big umbrellas or backpacks are allowed.
Best Time to Visit
The slowest months for tourism in Rome are the colder ones (excluding the Christmas and New Years holidays): late November to early December, mid-January to the end of February. So that means these months are the best months to visit the Vatican Gardens, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica
Will I Need a Guide?
The Vatican Gardens can be visited only by guided tour available every weekday, except Wednesday and Sunday. When you book the Vatican Gardens, you will either have a human guide on the walking tour, or an audio-guide on the bus tour. Taking a guided tour it is a much better way to visit the Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums, and makes for a smoother and less tiring day. However, there is no regularly scheduled tour. You need to write to the Vatican official website and ask for a time slot and guide.
How To Get There?
From Termini Station Metro A Line (Battistini), stops: Ottaviano-Musei Vaticani; Cipro (from both, 10 minutes walk). From the Fiumicino Aeroport Leonardo Express Train to Termini Station and from here proceed as above. From Ciampino Aeroport Terravision Bus to Termini e Station and from here proceed as above. A taxi from either airport takes 40 minutes.
It is a must to visit the Vatican’s official website before you travel and have a look at all the various tours that are available. Access to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel is permitted only to visitors with proper attire (sleeveless shirts, shorts, skirts, hats are prohibited). When you're in the St. Peter's Basilica, no photography is allowed and you have to be silent in the Grottoes.