|The Dome of St. Peter's|
We were touring Italy with Insight Vacations, which meant we were able to skip the long ticket lines at the Vatican Museums. We were also allowed access to the Bramante Staircase, an area of the museum not open to the general public. Here is a sampling of what we saw.
The Vatican Museums
The Pigna Courtyard is one of my favourite areas of the museum because of the large bronze pine cone (pigna) which originally stood near the Pantheon. The pine cone is flanked by two bronze peacocks.
|Bronze Pine Cone in the Pigna Courtyard|
|Roman Busts and Statues|
|Apoxyomenos, Athlete Scraping Himself|
The Bramante Staircase was commissioned in 1512 and its spiral design enabled access by horseback. A much newer replica built in 1932 now serves as the Vatican Museum exit.
|The Bramante Staircase|
|View from the Bramante Staircase|
|Etruscan Pottery Jug|
|Heads of Horses|
|Gold Fibula from the Regolini-Galassi Tomb|
|Gold Pectoral from the Regolini-Galassi Tomb|
|Amber Necklace from the Rigoli-Galassi Tomb|
|Etruscan Bronze and Wood Sandals|
|The Mars of Todi|
The Chariot Room
|Sala della Biga, the Chariot Room|
|Chariot Room Ceiling|
|Roman Antiquities in the Candelabra Gallery|
Gallery of Maps
|Gallery of Maps Ceiling|
|Maps of Italy|
|Map of Venice|
The last stop on our tour of the Vatican Museums was the Sistine Chapel, however no photos are allowed.
|Stairway to the Sistine Chapel|
Next: St. Peter's Basilica