Vatican: Vatican Museums – Long Galleries

The Vatican Museums were established by the popes in the 16th century and thus were the first public museums in the world. The immense amount of artistic wealth accumulated in Vatican is on display here – 20,000 works are on display (and another 50,000 are in storage). It’s overwhelming and you do need a full day here. Having looked at the map of the museums in advance, I grouped them into four blocks – the long galleries (this post), Sistine Chapel, sculptures of the Gregorian museums, and everything else clustered around Pinacoteca. The galleries are long halls leading to and from the Sistine chapel. Here, you walk pretty much the entire time with you head upwards admiring the incredible ceilings. Art, sculptures, books, furniture – all lavish and incredible – in endless display here.