The Vatican Museums Extend Their Opening Hours
From April 20, 2018, until October 26, 2018, the Vatican Museums will stay open late into the night. The goal is to draw more visitors.
For the second year in a row, the Vatican Museums will stay open late into the night, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Visitors will be able to tour the major art collections, the Sistine Chapel, the Borgia apartments – so dear to Pope Leo XIII, but in which St. Pius X did not wish to live out of a spirit of poverty – and the apartment of St. Pius V.
The Vatican Museums explain in their statement that the Night Openings are for
...all those who are too busy during the normal opening hours due to work or family commitments, so that they may finally re-appropriate their Museum, experiencing and enjoying it in an unusual and special atmosphere.
A special summer program offers concerts or other events along with the Museum tours. Cocktails and refreshments are even available for visitors in the emblematic Cortile della Pigna. The Vatican Museums seem to wish to imitate a practice that has proven successful for many secular museums during the summer season.
While at first glance, this seems to be an effort to simply create more revenue for the Vatican Museums - which is not a negative thing in itself, after all - one hopes that this effort by the Vatican will bear good fruit. If it affords more visitors the ability to immerse themselves in the sacred art of the Catholic Church, so much the better.