The Vatican Museums are a massive collection of statues, paintings and ancient artifacts held by the Roman Catholic Church. The museum begins with a series of sculpture exhibits, starting with Egyptian period, then Assyrian/ Babylonian, Etruscan, Greek and Roman sculptures. Then you pass through a series of long hallways containing tapestries, halls of maps and paintings and you get to Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. After the Sistine Chapel there are exhibits of more modern art before the trip ends.
All in all the Vatican Museum is an amazing but grueling experience. It starts off with what can be a massive line, but if you book online you can skip this process. It’s fairly expensive (~26 Euro/person), but what are you going to do, skip it? It would be like skipping the Taj Mahal when you were in Agra. So, regretfully pay the fee, and know that your money is mostly going to the museum, and not for popemobiles ;P
The first exhibit you will see are from ancient Egypt as well as some Roman artwork done in the same style. From my immense wisdom imparted to me via the HBO series Rome, it is my understanding that Rome played second fiddle to the more cultured Egypt, at least until after the reign of Cleopatra. For this reason the Romans sometimes emulated the Egyptians.
It looks like there was some extra padding to this guy's hips:
According to the exhibit, Egyptians embalmed their dead because they were deeply religious, and believed they would go to the afterlife with their preserved body.
Hermanubis (much like Bradgelina):
Dis, a farming god that had evolved into an evil god of Hades by the time of Julius Caesar.
From the Egyptian rooms you go onto the more Roman and Greco style "Salas." They have all sorts of really Greco-Roman Sculpture:
This strange guy had mushrooms on his head:
Of course there is the standard victory piece:
Some Chinese influence?
And a whole room full of animal statues:
And the museum of endangered children, Sala 3: victimi cum esponges:
After the sculptures, you have a series of neverending hallways. The first is with tapestries, but at this point it's very difficult to care.
the Sistine Chapel are a series of rooms painted mostly by the students of the master Raphael.
The vatican museum is long and grueling trip. It's a must-see, but I wouldn't do it again unless I was really early and there was a guarantee of very few people.