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Vatican City
A State within the city of Rome , location of St Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums and Castel Sant'Angelo. The Pope gives a public audience every Wednesday and tickets need to be organised ahead of time from the Vatican. The Sunday morning blessing is given from the study overlooking Saint Peter's square and is open to all.

Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums occupy a part of the papal palaces and include the Borgia Apartments, Egyptian-Gregorian Museum , Ethnological Museum , Raphael Rooms , the Etruscan Museum Pinacoteca, Pio-Clementino Museum Raphael Salon and the Vatican Library. The Sistine Chapel is at the end of the museum route and where Michelangelo's Last Judgment is on the rising above the frescoes on the side painted by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Roselli, Pinturicchio, Signorelli and della Gatta. The altar wall has Michelangelo's Last Supper with Christ above centre flanked by Mary. Located at Vatican City , Viale Vaticano. (06 6988 4676).

San Pietro (St Peter's)
St Peter's is one of the world great Christian symbols. Built over Saint Peter's tomb in the 4th Century. Over the years it has been added and included help from Michelangelo's and inside you will find his Pieta. He built the massive dome. Bernini was responsible for the piazza and baldacchino. Good views from the cupola. Piazza San Pietro. (06 69881662) Use metro Ottaviano - San Pietro.

Piazza San Pietro (St Peter's Square)
This is the gateway to the largest and most famous church in the world. The square is often full of tourists walking around taking the majesty of the location all in. St Peter's Basilica, and the man himself is there in stone with the keys to the kingdom, takes up one end of the square, with the dome tucked away at the back. To the left as you enter the square are the official Vatican shops, post office and bookstores that do a very busy trade. To the right is the line up to enter the church or the museum around the corner. If in Rome on a Sunday you can join in with the masses to celebrate mass, and if you are really lucky the Pope himself may make an appearance at his window in the Apostolic Palace.

Sistine Chapel
Well known for Michangelo's frescos in the ceiling that took him four years to paint. The walls are painted by Domenico, Signorelli and others. Located inside the Vatican Museum, just follow the signs.

Vatican Gardens
The Vatican gardens consist of 23 hectares of beautiful greenery, paths, flower beds and of course statues and fountains. You need to make a reservation to visit here and the tickets must be picked up two to three days before your tour, so you need to be organised. The tours are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10am and last for a couple of hours. Vatican Tourism Office (06 6988 1662).

 

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