If you have a little extra time on your hands these days, consider a ‘visit’ to the Sistine Chapel, or a ‘walk’ through the excavations beneath St. Peter’s Basilica to the Tomb of St. Peter. Both are free virtual tours made available by the Vatican.
The Sistine Chapel, with its awe-inspiring ceiling painted by Michelangelo, is the place where the Cardinals gather to elect a new pope. It is the highlight of a tour of the Vatican Museums and attracts five million visitors per year.
The Tomb of St. Peter is a much tougher ticket. Visits to the excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica are limited to groups of 12, escorted by a Vatican guide, and the number of visitors is capped at about 250 per day. It is not a tour for the claustrophobic.
Both of these Vatican highlights are now closed to visitors as part of the public health crisis in Italy.
The Sistine Chapel virtual tour can be taken here, and the tour of the excavations, or Scavi, can be taken here.