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Vatican Radio Museum: 82 years broadcasting the Pope's voice.


The Vatican Radio Historical Museum is little-known among tourists. It is a collection of radio equipment used by the Vaticans official broadcasting service since 1931.

Each piece of equipment has its own history and is a witness to a specific period in both the history of technology and the Vatican itself.

Founder, Vatican Radio Museum
"With this equipment we are able to retrace the history of radio itself, but also of Vatican Radio. This museum helps us to understand the mission of Vatican Radio, which is to reach everyone everywhere.”

Among the 180 exhibited objects are telegraphs, radios, phonographs, vynil discs and microphones. And nearly 90 % of the equipment is still functioning.

Founder, Vatican Radio Museum
"This museum is alive. It's not just about the equipment itself, but also about the historical and social context in which these instruments were used.”

The museum's founder emphasizes how the use of short waves allowed technicians in the Vatican to broadcast the Popes voice all over the world. It was a message that couldn't be blocked by censorship: in this regards, Vatican Radio played a key role, for example, during the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

Another less known fact is that in radio broadcasting, nothing gests thrown away. Even now that digital has replaced analog in recording, old vynil discs are still essential items. 

Founder, Vatican Radio Museum
"Tapes or vynil disks will surely last longer. We have original tapes from 1931 that can still be listened to. On the other hand, we cannot be sure that the compact discs or hard-discs we have nowadays will last more than 50 or 100 years.”

The Vatican Radio Historical Museum was founded in 1995, exactly one hundred years after Guglielmo Marconi, one of the founders of Vatican Radio, invented radio broadcasting.

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