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As the seat of papal power for centuries, the Vatican has had plenty of time to accrue artistic treasures. In fact, during the medieval period, the Renaissance, and beyond, the church was often the major sponsor of art. Virtually all the most famous artists in Italian history worked for the church in one form or another. As a result, the Vatican is the owner of some of the world's most outstanding paintings, sculptures, and other art forms.
This art is displayed in the Vatican museums. In fact, the museum holds over 70,000 different works of art from almost every time period of human history. One of the largest museums in the world, the Vatican museums are also one of the most visited, receiving nearly seven million visitors each year.
The museums were established in the early 16th century. In fact, the very first piece acquired by the museum for public display was an ancient Roman sculpture purchased by Pope Julius II on the advice of Michelangelo. The rooms to house the museums were decorated by Michelangelo and Raphael, along with other important Renaissance artists, so even the buildings themselves are works of art.
The modern collection is split up into several different museums. There's the Pinacoteca, or picture gallery; the collection of modern religious art; the Pio-Clementino, for Greek and Roman statues; an Etruscan museum; an Egyptian museum; and a museum dedicated to the history of the Vatican. Essentially, it's a paradise for art and history lovers.
The Vatican museums are vast, and a dedicated art lover could spend days exploring them one by one. But even beyond the museums themselves, this tiny country has plenty to offer visitors. You can walk across the entire country in around 20 minutes, and yet you could spend weeks here without seeing everything it has to offer.
Admire one of the world’s great art collections in the museums. Obviously, this is the place to start. Art lovers will be in their element, and even if you didn’t think you had much appreciation for art, you may leave the museums surprised by a newfound love of culture.
Marvel at the work of a Renaissance genius in the Sistine Chapel. The chapel, richly decorated by legendary Renaissance artist Michelangelo, is actually part of St. Peter's Basilica, but the only way for the public to get inside is through the Vatican museums. The jaw-dropping ceiling and stunning Last Judgment painting are some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world.
Explore the heart of an ancient religion at St. Peter’s Basilica. This grand church was once the largest in the world, and remains the heart of the Catholic religion. The church itself is home to more priceless works of art, including a statue by Michelangelo, and the stunning dome in the ceiling is a masterpiece of architecture.
Soak up the atmosphere in St. Peter’s Square. This beautiful public space was designed by famous architect Bernini in the 17th century. It’s now the heart of Vatican City, and a great place to people watch and enjoy some Roman sunshine.
Learn about the rise and fall of the secular power of the popes at Castel Sant'Angelo. Once the tomb of Roman Emperor Hadrian, this imposing structure became a fortress for the popes during the Renaissance. It's now the home of a military museum that explains the wars fought by the church against its rivals.
Vatican City is completely surrounded by the city of Rome. It is linked to Rome's subway system by Ottaviano-San Pietro Metro station, which is just outside the walls of Vatican City, a five-minute walk from the museums.
Tram route 19 stops at San Pietro, just to the northeast of Vatican City and a short walk to the museums.
City buses 23 and 49 circle the walls of the Vatican, stopping a short walk from the museums. You can also take a dedicated tourist bus from Rome's Termini station and many other of the city's tourist attractions to the Vatican.
You could wander for hours in the endless hallways of the Vatican museums. And you probably will. But it’s worth remembering that large bags are not permitted in the museums or in St. Peter’s Basilica, for security reasons. Besides, you’ll find your trip much more enjoyable if you don’t carry more than you need.
Drop off your belongings at a Bounce luggage storage locker near the Vatican museums so that you can be more comfortable as you explore. No matter how many bags you have or how big they are, Bounce can help you find a place to store them until you need them again.
Vatican Gardens: More than half of this tiny country is occupied by the Vatican Gardens. Once the private garden of the popes, this parklike environment was opened to the public in 2014 by Pope Francis. Small groups are allowed to visit under the supervision of a tour guide, and the gardens make a wonderfully tranquil place to escape the bustle of the Vatican and Rome, especially on a hot day. Large bags are not permitted in the gardens, so be sure to drop yours off at a luggage storage shop in the Vatican before you visit.
Apostolic Palace: The Vatican’s Apostolic Palace has been the residence of the popes since the 15th century. Now, parts of the palace are open to the public to see the home of former rulers of the church. The building is also home to the Vatican library and many priceless works of art by famous Renaissance artists.
Papal audience: If you’re a Catholic, you won’t want to miss the chance to see a Papal audience. And even if you’re not, it’s a spectacle worth witnessing. Held on Wednesdays in St. Peter’s Square, these events see the Pope addressing a huge crowd of the faithful gathered to hear his words. Tickets can be obtained for free in advance, or you can simply show up. But it’s a good idea to get to the square early, because these events are invariably popular, drawing Catholics from all over the world. Make things easier on yourself by leaving large bags with a Rome luggage storage service before attending.
Convenient to the Met, which does not allow luggage at coat check. Very easy check in and check out process, with lovely people at the front!
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The price for luggage storage near Vatican Museums is just €5.00/bag for the entire day.
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $10,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage near Vatican Museums.
Yes, there are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in the Vatican Museums area. Bounce has multiple luggage storage locations nearby Vatican Museums and in the broader Rome area where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $10,000 safekeeping gurantee.