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I'm not an habitué of museums so I'm not qualified to judge the museums of the Vatican in comparison to others.  I would find it strange if they're not in the top tier though.  We visited for a few hours.  I was wishing we had set aside a whole day.  I think a matter of weeks would be more appropriate just to casually look at all the exhibits.  It's well-known to travelers to Rome that getting into the museums can take a good part of a day standing in line.  The better way (which we did) was to book tickets at the Vatican website.  A visitor to the website must enter all pertinent ID info of everyone in the visiting party and specify a date and time to arrive.  You instantaneously receive an e-mail with a voucher to print.  When we arrived, the line was hopeless.  I showed one of the security people our voucher and was escorted to the head of the line.  Our voucher was scanned and in we the ticket window.  At the ticket window, the voucher is scanned again and checked against your identification.......and the clock and calendar.  If everything is right, your ticket is issued and those poor people back outside have a few more hours to stand in the line.




To get to the museums entrance, we had to walk almost halfway around the perimeter of Vatican City.  After passing through St. Peter's Square, we passed the Porta Angelica, the main vehicular entrance.




Most of the perimeter of the Vatican City State is marked by a wall like this.  The exception is, of course, St. Peter's Basilica and piazza which opens to the city of Rome.





It's a long way around there......and uphill.




This is the entrance to the museums.  I took this picture at closing time.  Otherwise, there would have been a sea of people showing.




One of the courtyards in the museum complex.




There are restaurants, lunch shops, coffee shops, pizza shops, etc. with ready access to the courtyards.  You can eat inside or take it outside for a fine alfresco dining experience.




One of the museums we went through was the Etruscan statuary.  If you get bored with the exhibits, you can always admire the ceilings.




Some of the exhibits.




There's profane as well as sacred as this satyr demonstrates.




One of the many sculpted urns.



A young woodland nymph.




The tapestries museum.




One of the tapestry exhibits.




The museum of ancient maps.




Some of the ancient maps bear scant resemblance to the maps of today.




Some more ceiling art to ponder.  The museum itself provides competition to the exhibits.




Fine metalworking and religious objects.




Religious objects.





I found the cabinet making and woodworking museum particularly humbling.





Some more ceilings.






Inlaid tables.




Whoever built these wall cabinets and bookcase didn't even have any Ryobi power tools.





Stained glass works.





There are a number of buildings in the museum complex, as well as an underground garage for the carriage and motorcar museum.




This is the most poorly designed item in the museum - the exit spiral staircase/ramp.  An OSHA inspector would have a seizure on seeing this.




I was just happy that it was down only.  I'd hate to try going up that thing.