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The Vatican museums house numerous major architectural discoveries. Amongst the Egyptian relics housed on the lower floor of Belvedere palace, there are mummies, statues, sarcophaguses and a collection of papyrus. On the whole, Greco-roman art has a privileged place within all the museums. Cross the rooms and corridors with their mosaic covered walls and floors, and enjoy the squares full of antique sculptures. Amongst the Greco-roman antiquities, there are marble statues in the Belvedere square that represent Laocoon from the first century, a beautiful Apollo, and, in the Chiarmonti Museum see the enormous head of Athena. Near the Christian museum, the Gregorian Museum traces the history of Roman art. At the Pinacotheque, look at paintings by Raphael and Titien, as well as the unfinished anatomical study by Leonardo da Vinci. Go through the four rooms of Jules II apartments, richly decorated in frescoes by Raphael. Cross the card gallery that contains archives and cards from the 16th century. After the Candelabra gallery with its lovely view over the Vatican's gardens, visit the Etruscan museum to see the superb bronze statue of Mars from the town of Todi, along with numerous domestic objects including a throne, a bed and a funeral chariot, all made from bronze and all from the tomb of Regolini-Galassi.

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    The Vatican museums

    Beware the opening hours of the Vatican museums: some of them close early.

    Ralph Braumer / age fotostock;
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