Find the Vatican Museum Quickly
Here are tips for travelers with limited time and therefore want to find the Vatican quickly. Before anything else, be informed that street names in Rome are engraved on the walls of buildings, so look up the building in that corner before you get lost!
Perspective view of the Vatican.
First, a good perspective view of the Vatican is essential. Above is an old painting of the Vatican that shows its location high on a hill. Note the location of the entrance to the Museum and the side entrance to the St. Peter's Plaza (Piazza)). The long side of the Vatican wall is in the direction of Via Ottaviano (Ottaviano Street).
Location sketch of the Vatican.
Second, locate the Metro A stations close by. At the left is Cipro and at the top is Ottaviano. Both stations are close to the Vatican, but Ottaviano station is the less confusing of the two, so you may choose to exit from this station. After reaching the street, look for the columns (pillars) of the St. Peter's Plaza and walk in that direction (There will also be train tracks along the street - see the picture below). Caution: If you keep walking along Ottaviano Street, then you will head for the Piazza (Basilica) and pass the Vatican Museum entrance, so you will have to go back along the wall if you are visiting the museum.
Night view of Ottaviano Street with St. Peter's Plaza at its end.
The nearby church as guidepost at Cipro exit.
The Cipro exit allows you a shorter route to the Vatican Museum, so use this exit if you want to visit the museum first. You will not be able to see the Vatican wall from the station, so here are tips for you not to get lost. After exiting the Cipro station, look around, especially behind you if you kept walking forward, and locate the bell tower of a nearby church. Walk towards this bell tower and stand in front of the church until you face a traffic light directly ahead. That traffic light is the first intersection of your route to the museum. The third intersection is at Via Tunisi, and this is where you turn right to the Vatican Museum. There will be some steps up to the level of the museum (see below).
Steps to the Vatican Museum at Via Tunisi.
The trick to avoid getting lost when exiting from the Cipro Station is to remember that the Vatican will be behind you when walking forward, so you must do an about face and find the bell tower then walk to Via Candia and turn right to Via Tunisi. You will be at the Vatican Museum quickly!
For more tips about visiting the Vatican as well as some pictures of the Cipro exit, look here
Added by raffy March 22, 2010 (12:38PM)
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