Vatican City is the core of Catholicism traditions and culture. But it is also more. The Holy See guaranteed the presence of artists, poets, saints, women and men from all over the world. They were attracted not only by the powerful image of Christianity, but also by its eternal beauty. A mixture of styles and eras make the city unique. If you want to explore the Roman Catholic tradition, there are some important unmissable spots.
1. Saint Peter’s Church
The Emperor Constantine built in 320 A.D. the place where Saint Peter apostle was buried. The Church complex is majestic and the Bernini’s columns seem to embrace the people arriving at the square. The façade has a modern style, but when you go inside the chapels, pavements and works of arts disclose all the richness of this church.
Inside you can see the Pietà of Michelangelo and the precious canopy that indicates where Saint Peter was buried. Beneath the Cathedral you can visit Vatican Grottoes where there are the tombs of Saint Peter and other popes.
2. Vatican Museums
Not very far from the Basilica are the Vatican Museums that enclose unique pieces of art. Paintings of the most famous artist like Giotto, Perugino, Leonardo, Beato Angelico are preserved inside. One of the most spectacular masterpieces you can find is Cappella Sistina, painted by Michelangelo in collaboration with other artists. The painting ceiling was commissioned by Pope Julius II and realized in four years between 1508 and 1512.
3. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
The only ancient Church in Rome that kept the original Christian structure. It is on the Esquiline Hill. A Roman patrician ordered the construction and it is today one of the best preserved churches in Rome.
4. Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi
Near to Piazza Navona, you can find one of most beautiful churches in Rome, dedicated to the French Community in Rome. Here, you can find three majestic paintings of Caravaggio: Il Martirio di San Matteo, San Matteo e l’Angelo and La Vocazione di San Matteo.
5. The Catacombs
You cannot miss this part: a visit of the earliest followers of Christ. In Rome you can find 60 catacombs complexes but just few are opened to the public: Santa Domitilla, San Sebastian, Priscilla and Sant’Agnese.