Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Vatican

Since 1929, when the Pope reached a deal with Mussolini, the Vatican has been an independent state, the world’s smallest with only 0.44 square kilometers. But within its walls are enough attractions to keep tourists busy for several days, so prioritizing your sightseeing is important. The two must-see sights are St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, but the Vatican Palace contains magnificent rooms decorated by the greatest artists of their time, as well as priceless collections in more than a dozen museums. In addition to the major museums, smaller collections will appeal to specialized interests: the Museum of Secular Art’s ancient sculpture, the Museum of Sacred Art’s finds from catacombs and early Christian churches, the Map Gallery, a gallery of candelabras and tapestries, as well as objects brought back by missionaries, Papal carriages, vintage cars, and a collection of more than 800 works of modern religious art by Matisse, Dali, Munch, Rouault, and others.

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