The Pontifical Museums and Galleries constitute one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, contained in buildings rich in history and incomparable works of art.
In the courtyard of the Palazzetto di Belvedere, a building that rises on the northern promontory of the Vatican hill, and which was erected by Pope Innocenzo Vlll (1484-1492) with the architect Giacomo da Pietrasanta, they began to gather under Julius ll (1503-1513 ), according to the fashion of the time, notable monuments of classical sculpture, from which the now vigorous renaissance of art was enriched. The statues of Apollo, Lacoonte, Torso and many others are famous then as today.
This first collection was especially enriched by the munificence of the popes Leo X (1513-1521), Clemente Vll (1523-1534) and Paolo lll (1534-1550).
At the end of 1700 Clement XlV (1769-1774) ordered an expansion of the collection and also of the premises, with a project that was taken up and implemented by his successor Pius Vl (1775-1799), hence the name of the Pio-Clementino Museum in this part of the Vatican Museums. The ancient Cortile del Belvedere was already modified under Clement XlV by M. Simonetti, with the addition of an octagonal portico and other rooms of the Palazzetto di Innocenzo Vlll were not only adapted to museum rooms, that is those that lead since then the name of Gallery of Statues, Gallery of Busts, Cabinet of Masks, Loggia Discovery and Room of Animals, but new rooms were built that joined the buildings already indicated with the northern side of the Library and had their monumental entrance with the atrium known as the Four Gates.
From here, until 1932, the visit of the Museums began. The staircase called Simonetti by its builder leads to the first floor of the Sala a Croce Greca, then the Sala Rotonda and the Sala delle Muse room and from here you pass through the Sala degli Animali to the old Palazzetto di Innocenzo Vlll. Then you enter the second floor in the Sala della Biga, in the small rotunda overlooking the Quattro Cancelli and the Galleria dei Candelabri.
It must be remembered that in the adaptation of the Galleries of Statues and Busts, exceptional frescoes by Mategna, Pinturicchio and others were partly destroyed and partly covered. The Cabinet of the Masks was then decorated with paintings by D. De Angelis and the room of the Muses by T. Conca.
Through the Galleria dei Candelabri you enter one of the two very long corridors that Bramante designed ‘and partly executed’ (the eastern one) to reunite the Palazzetto di Innocenzo VIII with the Palazzo Pontificio, creating an immense courtyard of about 300 metres in lenght and 70 in width. The western corridor, where the Galleria dei Candelabri is located, was built under the pontificates of Saint Pius V (1566-1572) and Gregorio Xlll (1572-1585).
Pius Vl arranged the Gallery by closing the arches previously opened on the Cortile della Pigna and the Gardens; later Leo Xlll (1878-1903) had the marble floor redone and the ceiling painted by Torti and Seitz.
The Pio-Clementino Sculpture Museum is completed with the Chiaramonti Museum created by Pope Pius Vll (1800-1823). The first part of this Museum, the Chiaramonti Gallery, is located in the Bramante corridor while the second part, called Braccio Nuovo, created by Stern, brings together the two corridors of the Bramante courtyard.
This new arm was called new and the oldest arm, under the pontificate of Sixtus V (1585-1590), was built by Fontana to insert the Vatican Apostolic Library inside.
With the construction of these two arms, the very long Bramante courtyard was divided into three parts, the two large Cortili del Belvedere and della Pigna and the courtyard of the Library.
The courtyard of the Pigna got its name from the famous bronze pine cone that was placed here. The two Gregorian Etruscan and Gregorian Egyptian Museums were built by
Pope Gregory XVl (1831-1846). Both museums occupy the two floors of the Pius IV building: the Etruscan Museum also extends over the Sala degli Animali and it is decorated with some rooms of paintings by Zuccari, Circignani, Barocci, Santi di Tito, while the Egyptian Museum has a general Egyptian style decoration.
On the walls of a short staircase with the large coat of arms of Julius III (1550-1555), which is located at one end of the Etruscan Museum, are placed the Assyrian inscriptions and reliefs.
The Rome Vatican Bed and Breakfast called The Center of Rome bed and breakfast is located a few minutes walk from the Vatican Museums.
In the beginning, the Vatican Pinacoteca was located in the western part of the Cortile del Belvedere and now it is inside the palace built by Pius Xl (1922-1939).
In this new location of the Pinacoteca the New Entrance to the Museums from Viale Vaticano was built, consisting of a vestibule, a double monumental spiral staircase going up and down, dug into the hill, through which the great difference in height between the avenue and the the museum floor and other connecting rooms that lead to an open portico that brings together the Pinacoteca ai Quattro Cancelli.
From the Quattro Cancelli, in the very long western corridor of the great Bramante courtyard, in which, on the upper floor, there is the Galleria dei Candelabri, you will find the Profane Museum due to Clemente Xlll (1758-1769) and Pio Vl and then the so-called Sale of the Vatican Library with on the left, after several rooms, the grandiose hall of Sixtus V.
After another part of the corridor is the Sacred Museum begun under the pontificate of Benedict XlV (1740-1758) and the Hall of the Aldobrandine Wedding with a vault frescoed by Guido Reni (1575-1642).
At the end of the corridor there is a chapel of St. Pius V and three other rooms of the Museum
Sacred: from the first of these rooms you go down to one side of the Sistine Chapel and from the other side you get to the Borgia Apartment (from the pope of this family Alessandro Vl 1492-1503).
From the so-called Room of the Prophets and Sibyls of this apartment, go up to the upper floor where you enter the Chapel of Urban Vlll (1623-1644) and then into the Raphael Rooms. Next to these are the Chapel of Niccolo V, the Sala dei Chiaroscuri and the Loggia of Raphael. From the Fire Room you enter the Room of the Immaculate Conception and then the Rooms of Modern Paintings and Ladies. The ceiling of the Sala delle Dame is painted by Guido Reni.
All the rooms that make up the Vatican Museums are very close to the bed and breakfast rome center called The Center of Rome.
At the end of the itinerary there is the very long Gallery of Geographical Maps commissioned by Pope Gregory Xlll and completed by Urbano Vlll and then the Gallery of the Tapestries from which one arrives at the Gallery of the Candelabra.
The Lateran museums are located in the grandiose Lateran Palace, built by Sixtus V and built by Fontana (1586-1589) who replaced the famous Patriarch, the oldest seat of the Popes. Numerous artists of the 15th century worked on the painted decoration of the interiors of the Palace, including the Knight of Arpino, Brill and Salimbeni.
After a general restoration carried out by Pope Gregory XVl, original sculptures were placed which formed a real museum which was given the name of Gregorian.
This last museum full of sculptures and other monuments of classical antiquity profane had a new general arrangement between 1914 and 1920 by Benedict XV.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s a grandiose secular epigraphic collection was formed on the walls of the quadriportico on the ground floor in the courtyard of the Palace.
The Laterenense Christian Museum was founded by Pope Pius lX in 1854 after the institution of the Sacred Archeology Commission while scientific excavations were begun in the Roman catacombs.
The rome center bed and breakfast whose name is The Center of Rome is located in via Cola di Rienzo, the road that leads to the Vatican and is halfway between St. Peter’s and the Vatican Museums.