Although Vatican City is surrounded by Rome, and therefore Italy, it’s technically another country so that’s why I have separated it from my post on AP Art History Hunting in Rome. But when you visit Rome you would be dumb to not also do Vatican…
Make sure to do your research about visiting the Vatican Museums because there are lots of options for you. A ticket to all the museums only costs 16€ (a seriously steal!) and the museum is open Mon–Sat 9am-6pm. At the barest minimum, I highly suggest you reserve your tickets ahead of time, book an early time slot, and plan to spend the WHOLE DAY there. It is well worth it!
Content Area 2: Ancient Mediterranean
#43. Augustus of Prima Porta
So funny yet sad story about this piece, I have been to the Vatican Museums a few times now and have never seen Augustus of Prima porta. Not sure where they stored him that I missed it but I did. Twice. Booo. However, to write this post I did google where they put him so you can see it. Since the Vatican Museums is really a bunch of museums all smushed together there is a lot to see! The statue of Augustus of Prima Porta is located in the New Wing of the Chiaramonti Museum.
- Location: New Wing (Braccio Nuovo) of the Chiaramonti Museum
Content Area 3: Early Europe & Colonial Americas
#75. Sistine Chapel ceiling and altar wall frescoes
The Sistine Chapel is at the heart of many tourist visits to the Vatican so you literally can’t miss it. Unfortunately, that means the chapel is usually über packed which makes it hard to enjoy your time there. It can be hard to see Michelangelo’s frescos with so many cameras clicking but you’re your best and maybe bring binoculars, those suckers are super high up.
- Location: Sistine Chapel
*Note: In the freak incident you happen to visit Rome during an election of a pope (super unlikely but it’s bound to happen to somebody), know that the Sistine Chapel is closed because the cardinals are literally sealed in until they vote on a new pope. Best get over being upset that you won’t be able to visit and, instead, revel in the fact that you are present for a very special and rare event!
#76. School of Athens
This image (unfortunately) is usually taught in isolation in many AP Art History classrooms so many people are totally unprepared when they enter into the Stanza della Signatura (literally Room of the Signatures) and see the School of Athens displayed with three other similar pieces. I highly suggest getting a book or some kind of guide (I however hate group tours) to go through the Vatican Museum so you can get a fuller looking into the pieces in context and in situ.
- Location: Stanza della Signatura