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The Vatican Pinacoteca in Rome: A Paradise for Art Enthusiasts

Explore the Pinacoteca Vaticana for free with the Rome City Pass.

Pinacoteca vaticana corridor in Rome as an artwork with ancient ornaments Pinacoteca Vaticana aerial view

The Vatican Pinacoteca is one of the new Vatican Museums. It was opened to the public on October 27, 1932. Pope Pius VI. (1775-1799) started the collection with 118 paintings, and afterwards, future popes each added on to the collection. This painting collection includes (for the most part) artwork portraying Christian themes. The Pinacoteca Vaticana houses many important artworks created by the Renaissance and Baroque artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raffael, Giotto, Guido Reni, and many others.

Opening Hours Vatican Pinacoteca

From Monday to Saturday 08.00 am – 07.00 pm (final entry 05.00 pm)

From 1 March On Fridays and Saturdays extended opening hours until 08.00 pm (final entry 06.00 pm)

Admission Vatican Pinacoteca

With your convenient Rome City Pass, you can experience the Vatican Pinacoteca for FREE. You will receive your ticket into the Vatican Pinacoteca and also to other top attractions in Rome (in one complete package) well before you depart for Rome.

Address Pinacoteca Vaticana

Viale Vaticano
00165 Rome

+ 39 06 69884676 

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Because the Vatican Pinacoteca is located on the north side of the Vatican, reaching other attractions in the Vatican is no problem. For example, the Vatican Museums and Vatican Gardens are easily reachable after a visit to the Vatican Pinacoteca. The Vatican Gardens (which are located at the same place as the Vatican Pinacoteca) invites visitors to spend a while amongst its greenery. Here you can spend some time to relax and rejuvenate yourself after your visit to the Vatican Pinacoteca. Other attractions that are not located in the Vatican can also be easily reached. 

Directions to the Vatican Pinacoteca

Metro: Line A to Cipro or Ottaviano, S. Pietro, Musei Vaticani
Bus 32, 81 or 982 to Piazza del Risorgimento
Bus 492 or 990 to Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni
Bus 49 to Viale Vaticano-Musei Vaticani 
Tram: 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento

Because Rome's public transportation system is a very good network of buses and trains, traveling to the Vatican Pinacoteca is easy! For that same reason, you can customize your day in Rome flexibly and to your individual needs. If you would like to use the train, Line A can take you to the Vatican Pinacoteca-- simply get off at either the „Cipro” or the „Ottaviano, S. Pietro, Musei Vaticani” station. Alternatively, you can also use any of the following bus lines to reach the Vatican Pinacoteca: 32, 81, 492, 982 or the 990. If using bus lines 32, 81, or 982, your end station is „Piazza del Risorgimento.” For bus lines 492 and 990, you must get off at „Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni.“ Whichever bus or train you decide to use, all ways that have been listed only require a 5-minute walk to the Vatican Pinacoteca from your respective bus stop or train station. By doing this, you can save time from simply traveling through the city, and instead use that time to admire the fantastic artwork in the Vatican Pinacoteca. For those who would like to further minimize their walking time, take bus line 49 to „Viale Vaticano-Musei Vaticani.” This bus will drop you off directly in front of the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Whichever way you decide to get to the Vatican Pinacoteca, you'll only have a short walk to make before finding yourself in front of the entrance of the Vatican Pinacoteca. In this way, you can fully enjoy your visit to the Vatican after a stress-free ride there.  

Special Terms & Conditions

The museum is closed on the following days: on Sundays (exception is usually on the last Sunday of each month), January 1 & 6, February 11 & 22, March 19 & 28, June 29, August 15, November 1, and December 8 & 26. 

Access into Vatican Museums is allowed only when visitors are dressed appropriately. Shoulder-baring blouses, shorts, miniskirts, and hats are not allowed in the Vatican Pinacoteca. The Vatican Museums have made a list on their website about further objects that are allowed or forbidden in the Vatican, for more information, please follow the following link: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/visita-i-musei/consigli-utili.html

Highlights of the Pinacoteca Vaticana

  • Painting collection assembled over the years by various popes
  • Italian paintings and tapestries from the 11th-19th century
  • Originals from the Papal Basilica

Attractions Near the Vatican Pinacoteca

The Vatican Pinacoteca is located near the Sistine Chapel. The chapel is famous for being the site of the Papal conclave, which is the process of choosing a new pope. During this process, cardinals of the Roman-Catholic Church assemble together to decide who will become the next leader of the church. The chapel is also home to some of the most famous paintings in the world. On your way from the Vatican Pinacoteca to the Sistine Chapel, you will also happen upon other Vatican Museums. These museums also house impressive works of art. The Galleria Spada is also nearby the Vatican Pinacoteca-- just about 14 minutes away! This gallery showcases a collection of art from the 17th century. This gallery is especially famous for its forced perspective gallery and is worth the visit. Borromini built this gallery in such a way that it creates an optical illusion. The gallery was constructed so that the it would shrink in size, starting from the inner courtyard to the exit. The spacing of the columns was also reduced so that one has the impression that they are looking at a very long room. 

Tour of the Vatican Pinacoteca's Halls

The Vatican Pinacoteca has a total of 18 halls that showcase (in chronological order) paintings and tapestries from the 11th-19th century. Some of the artwork from this extensive collection of about 460 objects are original artworks from St. Peter's Basilica. (These pieces were replaced by mosaic copies in the basilica.) The Vatican Pinacoteca also houses a unique exhibition of religious icons from the 15th-19th century. 

Hall I: The paintings in this room are from so-called "primitive" painters who created art before Giotto. Altogether, this hall covers art from the 12th-14th century. Typical characteristics of this art period were gold backgrounds, sharply outlined contours, as well as a lack of tonal gradation and perspective. 

Hall II: In the second part of the Vatican Pinacoteca, one can find Sienese artwork from the 14th century. Among these include pieces by Giotto (who is the most famous Italian artist of the Middle Ages), as well as art by Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini. The main attraction in this hall is the multi-panel polypych by Giotto. A polyptych is a painting that is divided into panels that are hinged together and can be opened and closed. The highlight of this piece are the fine, delicate mosaic decorations on the throne that St. Peter is depicted to be sitting on. 

Hall III: In this hall of the Vatican Pinacoteca, paintings from the early 15th century (the transition period into a new art style) is showcased. These art works feature fewer gold backgrounds, portray more sophisticated figures, and depict an increased deepness than the art before its time. A beautiful example of these new painting techniques is the detailed painting, "Virgin and Child between Saint Dominic and Catherine" by Beato Angelico. 

Hall IV: This hall is dedicated to paintings from the 15th century that were made by Melozzo da Forli and Marco Palmezzano. 

Hall V: This hall in the Vatican Pinacoteca showcases artwork from the 15th century that portray a very typical theme of this art period: ancient ruin and architecture. 

Hall VI: In this hall, art by painters from the 15th century (who often created their art using art styles from the past) are showcased. This means that many of these paintings have a reappearance of gold backgrounds and a love for detail. 

Hall VII: Here you can find work created in the Umbrian school of art. This school of art covers artwork by Italian painters who painted in the Umbrian style during the mid-15th century. Their paintings are composed clearly and simply, and the depiction of light and color, as well as its perspective, architecture, and figures are all portrayed very realistically. The most famous artist of this art style is Perugino. You can also find artwork by Giovanni Di Pietro and Pastura in the seventh hall of the Vatican Pinacoteca. 

Hall VIII: The artworks that are showcased in this hall of the Vatican Pinacoteca are from the 16th century. This hall includes not only paintings, but also Gobelin tapestries by Raffael and Flemish tapestries. Gobelins are hand-stitched paintings, which resemble wall tapestries, but are not woven. 

Hall IX: This hall contains Leonardo da Vinci's famous unfinished work, "St. Jerome,” and also work from other artists. 

Hall X: This hall showcases some of the most important artworks by Venetian painters of the first half of the 16th century, all of which you can admire during your visit to the Vatican Pinacoteca. Some works that you will encounter in this hall were made by Veronese, Tizian, and Garofalo. 

Hall XI: This hall showcases artwork from the second half of the 16th century. For example, you can find Borocci's "Annunciation" and other works by Ludovico Carracci and Cavalier d’Arpino here. 

Hall XII: The 12th hall of the Vatican Pinacoteca is dedicated to the art of the early 17th century which is characterized by realism and bold foreshortening. Artists like Domenichino, Guido Reni, Caravaggio and Poussin also use this style of art. 

Hall XIII: Paintings from Pietro da Cortona and Poussin are located in this hall of the Vatican Pinacoteca for visitors to admire. 

Hall XIV and XV: Both of these halls are dedicated to showcasing artwork from the 17th and 18th century. Artists like Baciccia, Andrea Belvedere and Borgognone created paintings in this style. 

Hall XVI: The 16th hall of the Vatican Pinacoteca only displays paintings by Peter Wenzel. These paintings were created in the late 18th century to the early 19th century. 

Hall XVII: The second to last hall includes clay models that Gian Lorenzo Bernini used to create the bronze statues in the Cathedra Petri. 

Hall XVIII: The last hall of the Vatican Pinacoteca holds icons from the 15th-19th century. These icons originally came from various regions such as Greece, Russia, Slavic countries, the Adrian Sea Region, and the Middle East. 

Experience the Vatican Pinacoteca for FREE with the Rome City Pass and have your ticket into the Vatican Pinacoteca already in your pocket before you even depart for Rome. 

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