Vatican city is the smallest country. Though it is within the city of Rome, Vatican is an independent country altogether. St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine chapel, and the Vatican museums are in Vatican city, and they house some of the most famous paintings and sculptures.
Vatican city tours
Guided tours are offered by the Vatican as well as few private operators.
We had an advance booking of a three hour tour. This guided tour included the Pio-Christian Museum, the Gallery of the Candelabras, the Gallery of the Tapestries (Renaissance art) and the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
We spent half a day in the smallest country marveling at all the art. Ours was the early morning tour which helped to beat the crowds. After the tour, we took a quick walk in the crypt which has over 100 tombs, got a closer look at Michelangelo’s Pieta, now enclosed in a bullet-proof glass case, and wandered in awe at the wonderful works in the church. Then we headed to climb 551 steps to the top of the world’s tallest dome – St. Peter’s cupola, to enjoy a wonderful panorama of Rome and St.Peter’s square.
(We visited Vatican city in mid-September)