As much as we'd all love to flip a switch, get rid of COVID, and return to traveling like normal, it doesn't seem like that will happen anytime soon. That's the bad news. The good news is that museums and attractions around the world are providing virtual tours, allowing you to experience them from the comfort of your couch.
Among the most iconic places offering virtual tours is the Vatican.
Under normal circumstances, millions of travelers visit the Vatican Museums every year. Its many halls are almost always crowded, making it difficult at times to truly admire the intensely detailed frescoes, especially in the Sistine Chapel. With no visitors around, the Vatican Museums created a variety of impressive virtual tours showcasing several areas around the grounds. Now, you can sit at home and contemplate these historic beauties with easy-to-navigate virtual tours that are also completely free of charge.
There are 26 distinct areas in the Vatican Museums, and thanks to this digital tourism option, virtual visitors have the opportunity to explore sections that are normally off-limits to the public, including the Niccoline Chapel, which features frescoes by Fra Angelico. Raphael's Rooms, created for popes Julius II (1503-13) and Leo X (1513-21), are also rarely open to the public, but these 360-degree tours place you right in the middle of the elegant rooms.
The Vatican Museums also offer photos and videos of other areas where virtual tours have not been made, such as the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, the Jewish Lapidarium, and the Carriage Pavilion.
For a full list of all the virtual tours available, visit the Vatican Museums official website. And once you're done exploring, be sure to check out these 12 museums from around the world that are also offering virtual tours to help ease the pangs of wanderlust.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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