According to ethnicityology, the Vatican is a huge architectural complex, which contains various unique monuments. Entering the Vatican, tourists first of all get to St. Peter’s Square, which is rightfully considered one of the best architectural monuments in the world. A huge area measuring 340 by 240 meters began to be built in the seventeenth century, and according to the plan of D.L. Bernini, the famous architect and creator of the project, it was supposed to personify a sacred place for the meetings of Catholics who come here from all over the world. Peter’s Square is located in the eastern part of the Vatican and along its perimeter are two picturesque colonnades built in the Doric style. There are 284 Doric columns in four rows, above which there are 96 sculptures of prominent figures of the Catholic Church (saints and martyrs). In the center of the square there is a unique obelisk 35 meters high. It is also called the Egyptian obelisk, since it was brought to Rome from Heliopolis in the first century BC by order of the then Roman emperor Caligula. And in 1586, by decree of Pope Sixtus V, the obelisk was installed on St. Peter’s Square itself. From the square there is a wide staircase that leads to St. Peter’s Basilica, which is one of the most impressive and monumental monuments in Europe. The construction of the cathedral began in 1506 and lasted several decades. Such famous masters of the Middle Ages as Michelangelo, Raphael, Bramante, Antonio de Sangallo, Peruzzi managed to participate in the construction work. The luxurious facade of St. Peter’s Basilica makes an indelible impression. There are impressive statues of the eleven apostles, Christ and John the Baptist. The interior of the cathedral is distinguished by its amazing decoration and harmony. Here you can see a huge number of different statues, tombstones, altars and other unusually beautiful works of art. Another famous monument of the Vatican is the Sistine Chapel. It was built in 1473-1481 by order of Pope Sixtus IV, after whom the monument got its name. Initially, the monument was a house church in the Vatican. Currently, the chapel is a museum of world importance; in addition, it is here that from time to time a conclave of cardinals of the Catholic Church is held during the election of a new pope. The Sistine Chapel gained worldwide fame thanks to the wall paintings that Michelangelo, Botticelli, Perugini and other famous masters of that time. Initially, there were 16 painted frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, but only 12 have survived to this day. The frescoes are huge and very colorful paintings with multi-figure compositions that depict various biblical scenes. Of great interest to tourists can be the famous complex of the Vatican Museums, which contains unique values. Very interesting is the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, which contains unique artifacts of the Etruscans – a mysterious culture that once existed in Italy and was the predecessor of the ancient Romans. Another museum – Egyptian – is dedicated to the ancient Egyptians and contains the most unique archaeological finds, some of which do not even have analogues. It is also worth visiting the famous Vatican Library, where about 60 thousand ancient manuscripts are collected. By the way, the Vatican Library is now considered one of the world’s largest collections of ancient manuscripts. When visiting the Vatican Museums, you should definitely see the Gallery of Geographical Maps, the Spiral Staircase, the Sacro Museum, and the Historical Museum. It is also necessary to familiarize yourself with the rules of visiting the museum in advance. Visitors are strictly forbidden to bring weapons and alcoholic beverages with them. Short skirts, shorts and necklines are also prohibited. And when visiting the Sistine Chapel, tourists are forbidden to photograph the frescoes, use mobile phones and speak too loudly. The Vatican Museum is so popular that a huge queue of visitors line up every morning to visit it. However, it is possible not to stand in line if the ticket is reserved in advance.
The only way to get to the Vatican is via Roman modes of transport. The Vatican does not have its own airport, so you first need to fly to the Roman airport “Leonardo da Vinci, Fimicino” and from here get to the Vatican by local means of transport. The Vatican has its own Roma San Pietro railway station, through which local trains and electric trains pass. Roma San Pietro is a 20-minute train ride from Rome’s main Termini train station. You can also use public transport in Rome to get to the Vatican. The metro in the Italian capital consists of two intersecting lines – in addition to single tickets, which cost about 65 US cents, you can also purchase one-day or weekly passes. You can also buy a tourist ticket, which entitles you to an unlimited number of trips on the bus, tram or metro. A daily tourist ticket costs about 3 euros, a weekly ticket costs 12.
Currency exchange in the Vatican
The currency in the Vatican is the euro. You can also use travelers checks and credit cards. Money can be exchanged outside the Vatican, on the territory of Rome – at exchange offices, at the post office, in banks. There is a 24-hour exchange office at the airport, but the exchange is carried out at a higher rate. Banks in Rome are open on weekdays (Monday to Friday), from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, and also from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday.