Vatican Museums

JUST IN: Vatican Museums & Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo to Re-open on June 1 in ‘Total Safety’

With New Security Measures in Place

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It’s decided: the Vatican Museums and Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo will be reopening in ‘total safety’ on June 1st.

The Museums announced the news over the weekend in a statement published by the Holy See Press Office, detailing the health measures they will be enacting to protect visitors and staff.

«The present health emergency has imposed, as the main assumption to be able to reopen, the objective of reconciling to the highest possible degree, the security and health demands with the dynamics proper of a visit that, however, is not inhuman in its essence,» the statement explained.

«Therefore, in scrupulous respect of the norms of hygiene and distancing,» it continued, «all those that will have access to the Museums will be subjected to the control of bodily temperature through thermometric equipment and visitors’ entrance will be allowed only if wearing masks.»

«During the opening hours to the public, a garrison of medical and health personnel will always be active of Italy’s Misericordie that, together with the Health and Hygiene Department of Vatican City State,» it assured, «will guarantee every necessary need.»

The actions adopted thus far, the Museums point out, can be reviewed at every moment depending on how the emergency situation evolves.

In order to better quota the entrances to access the Vatican Museums, reservations will be obligatory, which can be done directly at the official site

In this exceptional period, the cost of the presale rights of 4 euros will not be applied.

The opening hours will also undergo variations: from Monday to Thursday, the Pontifical Collections will be open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, with a last entrance at 6:00 pm (the exit from the Museum sectors begins at 7:30 pm); Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm with the last entrance at 8:00 pm (exist from the Museum sectors at 9:30 pm).

On these two days it will be possible to combine the visit, enveloped in the soft lights of the Roman sunset, with an aperitif served in the fascinating scenery of the Cortile della Pigna [Pine Cone Courtyard] (obligatory reservation, subject to the limited availability of places in respect of the security norms regarding restoration).

Currently, the usual free opening of the Museums on the last Sunday of the month, is suspended.  

«Added to the already rich range of visit proposals,» the Museums note, «is a new open bus tour, ecological and panoramic, discovering the Vatican Gardens, which provides exclusive and direct access to the green heart of Vatican City State, through a dedicated entrance and without the need to go through the Museums.»

«A reservation is obligatory through the site where it will be possible to find all the details of the proposal.»

Along with the Vatican Museums, the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo are also being opened to the public.

Until the end of the emergency, one will be able to admire the summer residence of the Holy Father and its wonderful gardens exclusively on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm with the last entrance at 5:00 pm (the first day of the reopening is planned for June 6, 2020).

All visitors will be subject to temperature control and guests will only be allowed entrance if wearing a mask. Obligatory is a reservation from the official site of the Vatican Museums.

The train of the Pontifical Villas, leaving every Saturday from the Vatican Station, remains suspended.


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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