The Vatican Museums will stay open late every Friday until July 29 and again from September 2 to October 28. Extended opening hours are welcome at the museums, among the most visited in the world; they will be open from 7 pm until 11 pm (last entry at 9:30 pm). Musical performances by the Santa Cecilia orchestra are planned.
It will be the perfect opportunity to see the recently renovated Gallery of the Maps: the four-year renovation works concluded this Spring. The 120-meter long gallery, commissioned in 1580 by Pope Gregory XIII as part of a series of artistic works to decorate the Vatican, features 40 panels mapping the entirety of the Italian peninsula in large-scale frescoes, each depicting a region and its most prominent city. Walking along the gallery, you will find the regions facing the Adriatic Sea on the right and the regions facing the Tyrrhenian Sea on the left.
Another highlight of the Vatican Museums are the Raphael Rooms, named after the painter whose frescoes can be seen on the wall, the most famous being The School of Athens. The four rooms were to house the apartments of Pope Julius II, the pope who commissioned the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
The Vatican Museums, with the Sistine Chapel, are among Rome’s biggest attractions.
Online booking through the official Vatican Museums website is mandatory.