The Vatican Museum , the largest museum in the world to reach off at Ottaviano Metro and walk down Via Ottaviano turn right on Via Germanicus , who immediately becomes Viale Vaticano .
Alternatively, walk from St. Peter’s Square for 10 minutes following the path of the Vatican walls until you reach the entrance to the museum , or take the minibus in front of the tourist information office , which runs every 30 minutes until 14.00.
The Museum at the following times : Monday to Saturday 8:45 to 13:45 , at Easter , July, August and September Monday to Saturday 8:45 to 16:45 .
Admission to the museum allowed up to 45 minutes before the closing of the museum. Closed on Sundays, except the last Sunday of the month (in winter 8:45 to 13:45 in summer 8:45 to 16:45 ) in which admission is free , and the museum is attacked by the Romans , 12 museums, about 7 miles of tunnels , the Sistine Chapel , the Raphael Rooms and the Borgia Apartment .
Unfortunately, the museum is often crowded and it is difficult to proceed easily through the entire path , thus not entirely to visit would take a lifetime .
However , the Pope makes sure that his museum is managed better than any other museum run by StatoItaliano and recently was also honored for his dedicated facilities for the disabled : There are two special routes for people in wheelchairs , just ask the guards entrance and organize everything.
An impressive double spiral staircase (1932 , by Giuseppe Momo ) leads upward to the galleries and the main crossing point of the museum, the lobby of the Four Gates , which leads to the Cortile del Belvedere , enclosed between two long gallerie.Progettato by Bramante for Julius II as an open-air auditorium , the courtyard has since been broken . The section that you can see at present is that of the Cortile della Pigna near the Braccio Nuovo (which takes its name from the large bronze pine cone , which was originally part of the fountain at the Temple of Isis, and subsequently located in the Portico of St. Peter).
To access the wonderful collection of ancient statues must first pass through the Egyptian Museum.
Founded by Pope Gregory XVI in the 30s of the nineteenth century is housed in the solemn halls where you can admire the Egyptian mummies , sarcophagi , statues, monumental statues of gods and pharaohs ( sandstone bust of Mentuhotep II in the room opposite the semi-circular courtyard Pigna is one of the oldest and most valuable of the museum, about 2040 BC ) .
The collection also some bizarre Egyptian gods as the baboon god Thoth with his chin on his knees and gaze defiant , and the pot-bellied god Bes -headed monster .
Most visitatoriattraversa Hall III without realizing that you are exposed Roman imitations of Egyptian art, mostly built for Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli , which are worth admiring up close, such as the small god with the head of a wolf and a statue of his beloved Antinous, depicted as Osiris.
Chiaramonti The Gallery is located at the end of the stairs immediately after the Egyptian Museum : this long tunnel with no way out , inaugurated by Pope Pius VII and staged by Canova , is home to a multitude of busts , reliefs, statuegreche and Roman originals and Roman copies .
It occupies the eastern half of the gallery of Bramante, and if you ‘re in a hurry or if you are not properly scholars of ancient art , you can just skip it . Otherwise, it’s worth a jump to be hypnotized by the many statues , such as the bust of the greek fifth century BC Athena that anxiety with its edgy look in ivory and semi-precious stones : she will know that you’re actually looking for the Apollo Belvedere , but we advise you to stop another ten minutes to visit the New Wing , built in 1822.
The first piece is the Etruscan sarcophagus of the third century BC Lucius Cornelius Scipio , the Tomb of the Scipios , and the second , a wonderful Roman copy of Lysippos dell’Apoxyòmenos of the fourth century , the fatigued athlete intent to take off the oil off after a game .
Continuing on, you reach the Octagonal Courtyard of the Belvedere, in which the Apolloin marble owes its name : it is a bronze copy of the statue of the second century by the sculptor Leocares , once located nell’AgoràAteniese , and represents the young god , to long considered a symbol of male beauty, intent on observing the arrow just struck .
Clockwise , following an original bas-relief of the Ara Pacis of Augustus, and beyond , the famous Laocoön , discovered in 1506 near the Golden House of Nero .
The Gallery of the Hall of Statues and Busts (often closed) include portraits of Caracalla , Brutus (292) , Julius Caesar, Augustus as a young man , the bell’Antinoo (357) and the Jupiter Verospi portrait sitting .
Going back to the Gallery of Statues is the Cabinet of the Masks , named for the colorful mosaics from Hadrian’s Villa depicting theatrical masks .
From the Hall of Animals will reach the great Hall of the Muses octagonal in shape , with Roman copies of the fourth century BC of the Greek muses , Apollo, the Greek philosophers and writers (Homer, Socrates, Plato , Euripides , etc. . ), the next section is the Sala della Rotonda, a copy of the neo-classical Pantheon , built around a huge cup of porphyry from the Domus Aurea .
Go back past the stairs and begin the descent through the Galleria del Bramante to the ancient Papal Apartments and the Sistine Chapel .
The tunnels , which the popes decorated it in different styles, depart from the Gallery of the Candelabra , which takes its name from the monumental marble candelabra that combined with colored marble columns surround the six sections of the exhibition with magnificent sarcophagi decorated with bas-reliefs.
The next section , the Tapestry Gallery , exhibiting the masterpieces of the sixteenth century carried on the work of the pupils of Raphael ‘s ” New School ” . Following the equally long Gallery of Maps , with colorful frescoes depicting the regions and cities of Italy and the Papal territories made by a Dominican monaco and cartographer Ignazio Danti , commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII , best known for the his reform of the Julian calendar .
The last section of the long corridor is the Gallery of St. Pius V , with tapestries of the fifteenth century Flemish manufacture of Tournai , including a Last Supper represented as a Renaissance banquet , the Sobieski Room , with a painting by the Polish king who came to help of the Austrian capital under siege turkish in 1683 , and finally , the Room of the Immaculate Conception .
In addition , there are the famous Raphael Rooms .
These famous rooms were built by Nicholas V as private apartments and were originally painted by Piero della Francesca, Andrea del Castagno and Benedetto Bonfigli , when Julius II was elected , hired Signorelli , Sodom , Lorenzo Lotto , Perugino , Peruzzi and to complete the decorations.
However, this unique treasure of Renaissance art was completely destroyed when Julius was struck by twenty-six Raphael – as if it was not enough space left by fresco ! But the pope wanted the most innovative designs for its apartments , in this way the great Renaissance artist was forced to make some of his greatest masterpieces .
Although he was suffering from an extreme egocentricity , Julius II was equipped with a mixture of arrogance , kindness and persuasive that it was necessary to get the best out of his artists.
Raphael began work on Rooms in 1508 and left unfinished when he died in 1520.
However, if you are willing to move from side to side to see them in the order in which they were painted , these four rooms allow you to see the progress of the artist over the years.
The official route starts with the Room of Constantine, proceeds through the Room of Heliodorus and the Stanzadella up to the Room of the Signatura . We advise you to proceed from the Room of the Signatura (where the Pope signed the official documents ), which contains the highest expression of the High Renaissance and its most famous frescoes .
These are the first works created entirely by the hand of Raphael’s Julius II ( 1508-11 ) . On the longest wall , the first fresco , the Dispute of the Sacrament that glorifies the triumph of the truth of religion , and they are masterfully depicted two parts: Paradise with a trinity of the Father , the Son and the Virgin accompanied by John the Baptist, and a large group of figures from the Old and New Testament (the latter with halo ) .
At the bottom is represented the Church Militant grouped around an altar with a central monstrance with the host : you can notice Doctors of the Church , popes , bishops and faithful , including Fra Angelico at the far left , and right Dante ( with the laurel wreath ) , and the heretic Savonarola hooded dark .
On the opposite side is the magnificent School of Athens , or the triumph of philosophical truth , a painting that has become the symbol of the Renaissance itself.
Set in an imaginary classical building inspired by the design of Bramante, mentor of the artist, and the Baths of Diocletian , the fresco represents the greatest philosophers and scholars, divided between two sections bounded by the central figures of Plato , holding the Timaeus ( probably depicted in the likeness of Leonardo Da Vinci, although in reality his conception of nature was more Aristotelian ) and Aristotle, who is holding his Ethics .
On the side of Platono recognize Socrates, recognizable snub-nosed , with intent to discuss Alcibiades , in armor , and placed side by Xenophon .
On the far left , in profile and with a beard is Zeno, Epicurus to close with a crown of vines, it can be seen sitting in front of Pythagoras, intent on writing his harmonic scale with Averroes, in turban , and Empedocles with the observed .
Julius II had to add his young hostage , Federico Gonzaga , sitting behind Averroes, and his nephew, Francesco Maria della Rovere , the blond young man in white .
You are not sure of the identity of a prominent figure with his foot on a block of marble , but the seated figure on the right is Heraclitus , the great pessimist , who was not present in the original study and was added by Raphael when it was removed a part of ‘ scaffolding in the Sistine Chapel : he was so impressed by the work of Michelangelo love him to pay homage to Heraclitus giving his likeness .
On the side of Aristotle note Diogenes the Cynic lying comfortably on the steps while facing you notice Euclid , with features of Bramante , intent on lecturing to his students and to the right , crowned (at that time still confused with a pharaoh of the dynasty of Ptolemies ) and holding the earthly sphere , there is Ptolemy from behind, in front of Zoroaster, with the celestial sphere .
On the far right you can see the same Raphael and Sodoma with headgear .
Above the window there is the Parnassus, dedicated to Beauty, with Apollo playing the violin for the Muses and poets , among which left Homer , Dante, Virgil and Sappho, Ovid, and Boccaccio and to the right , and sitting Horace and Pindar .
In front are represented virtues of Courage, Temperance and Prudence Raphael , and further down the canon law with Triboniano that delivers pennette Justinian Perin del Vaga, who also had a hand in the Decretals Gregory IX approving .
Following is the Room of Heliodorus , painted by Raphael in 1512-14 with subjects chosen by Julius II .
Here the issues are more dramatic and spectacular , richer colors: the wonderful Liberation of St. Peter , which is set at night, depicts the angeloin prison, free from the chains of St. Peter and leads him to escape.
On the main wall is the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple, in which the room takes its name : the event refers to the battles of Julius II to expel foreign domination from the Papal States .
The Mass of Bolsena, above the window , is the miracle of 1263 , when a priest who had doubts about the veracity of transustazione celebrated mass and found the bloody host , on the right is a portrait of Julius II in the knee.
The fourth fresco , The Meeting of Leo the Great with Attila , was built mostly by assistants of Raphael , who had to change the face of San Leone from that of Julius II and Leo X that , when the latter was elected .
Leo X had already been portrayed among the cardinals , so the same chubby face appears twice, as it would be enough to ruin any painting .
Now head to the Room of ( the papal dining room ) .
During his pontificate Pope Leo X ( 1514-17 ) chose as the theme of the room the Great Fire of Borgo dell ‘ 847, miraculously stopped by the holy father Leo IV making the sign of the cross.
The design of the room is Raphael but the construction was entrusted almost entirely to his students, and shows its trend in the direction of Mannerism : the grand gestures , the greater emphasis on the human body as an expressive medium , often portrayed in difficult poses , and use color more violent. Leo IV presents the chubby traits of Leo X , the painting alludes to the role of peacemaker of the pope, and his business to turn the conflict between the Christian powers in Italy .
The other frescoes in the room depicting Leo X in the role of Leo III on the occasion of Charlemagne and LeoneIV in Victory over the Saracens , both referring to events in the life of Leo X.
The vault , made by the teacher of Raphael , Perugino , is the only surviving original fresco .
The last room , the Room of Constantine, was painted after Raphael’s death by GiulioRomano and other students , and only the victory of Maxentius Costantinosu was carried out following sketches of the master.
Beyond this room there are the Lodges of Raphael (currently accessible by permit only to scholars) cheRaffaello built after the death of Bramante , decorating them with scenes from the Old Testament (which is why Raphael’s Bible , in contrast to the Sistine Chapel, the Bible Michelangelo) . Made by his students , including especially Giovanni da Udine , the lodges are particularly interesting for their grotesque , for the realization of which Raphael was inspired by the Golden House of Nero .
Beyond the Room of Constantine there is the Hall of the Grooms (better known as the Hall of Chiaroscuri for its frescoes monochrome ) with a wonderful time with carvings and gilding where you see the Medici emblems , and beyond this , the small Chapel of Nicholas V , by Nicholas V , who lived in a previous era , the easiest and most devout .
It was sealed and forgotten until, counting the windows of the Vatican Palace , it was noticed that there was one more , inside there are paintings in pastel colors by Fra Angelico, on the life of St. Stephen (above) and St. Lawrence (bottom) .
Now go back to the room dell’lncendio , where a door gives access to the Chapel of Urban VIII , sumptuously decorated by Pietro da Cortona , a staircase leads to the Apartment Borgia and the Modern Religious Galleriad’Arte .
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