After being closed for three months, tourists are now able once again to visit the Vatican Museums “safely” for the first time since June 1, 2020.
Sanitary measures for the safety of visitors and staff, and new hours of operation have been established. All those who have access to museums are therefore subject to body temperature control, and visitors are only allowed to enter if they are wearing a mask. During the hours open to the public, medical personnel will always be on call.
Thus, in order to better regulate the number of admissions to the Vatican Museums, it is mandatory to make a reservation, which can be done directly on the Official website www.museivaticani.va. During this exceptional period, the presale fee of 4 euros is not being applied. The hours of operation will also be subject to variations. And the usual free day, the last Sunday of the month, is currently suspended.
In a video intervention posted on the Vatican News website, Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums, spoke about new things proposed for visitors, such as the restoration of Constantine’s salon, the fourth and grandiose room by Raphael, in what constituted Pope Julius II’s apartment. In the art gallery, visitors can also admire room 8, completely renovated, dedicated to Raphael, whose fifth centenary of death is being commemorated this year.
The pontifical villas of Castel Gandolfo have also reopened since June 6. The pope’s summer residence and its gardens are open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, the Pontifical Villas train, which leaves every Saturday from the Vatican station, is currently suspended.
The closure of the Vatican Museums, since March 8, has caused a shortfall of some 17 million euros, or between 57% and 68% of the total losses of the Holy See due to the pandemic, estimated Andrea Gagliarducci , journalist for the Catholic agency ACI Stampa. One of the main financial resources of the Vatican City is the Vatican Museums' cash receipts, along with the annual appeal for Peter’s Pence.