Vatican Museums reopen after lockdown

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After two months and 22 days closed, the Vatican Museums reopened its doors to the public.

The person in charge of the reopening was Gianni Crea, who has been the Vatican Museums' “keeper of keys” for 21 years.

From early in the morning, people were waiting in line to see the galleries and all their historical richness.

“I'm actually very excited. I said the first thing I would do as soon as the lockdown ended was go to the Vatican Museums, and here we are!”

While the world adapts to a new normal, the “pope's museums” are also implementing security measures, from using face masks and hand sanitizer, to maintaining safety distances.

At the entrance, a thermal scanner is provided to take visitors' temperatures.

In addition, it is now mandatory to reserve tickets before arriving.

“Well, it's completely different. They don't let you buy the tickets on the spot anymore. You have to book them online. Then you arrive and see there's no long line. It's different, a new normal. It's kind of strange not seeing tourists, only locals.”

Director, Vatican Museums
“One thousand six hundred people reserved online to visit the Museums today. We implemented this booking system for health reasons. We wanted to organize visits and guarantee that safety distances between guests could be kept, in accordance with the rules set in place to protect people in these difficult times.”

Visitors, in small numbers, can now enjoy the wonders of the museums, from Raphael's masterpieces to Michelangelo's awe-inspiring frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

“It's incredible because there's no one here. You don't have to wait in line. It's very exciting. This is my first time here. The lockdown hit, and I couldn't visit. So having the opportunity to go out and see Rome without people, without tourists, for me is magical.”

Starting today, the Vatican Museums can be enjoyed by all lovers of art. Requirements, rules and regulations for visiting the Museums and the Vatican Gardens are available on their website,

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Claudia Torres

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