One of Rome's most popular tourist attractions, the Vatican Museums and Gardens, will be reopening to visitors on May 3 following a temporary opening, museum organizers have announced. While visitors will have a chance to see the fine craftsmanship on the ceiling of the renowned Sistine Chapel, Italy's tourism remains hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently, there are hardly any tourists in Rome because of the travel restrictions in Italy. In pre-pandemic times, a visit to the Vatican Museums often meant queues, overcrowding and guards telling you to move along.
Announcing the plans on March 8, the museums' organizers in the Vatican City said that for public health reasons, visits will still need to be booked in advance on the museums' website. In addition, only a limited number of guests will be admitted.
The opening date is also provisional and will ultimately depend on COVID-19 infection rates at the time. Recently, the infection curve in Italy had dropped slightly, but the figures are still generally higher than in other parts of Europe.
The museums in the Vatican had been closed again after a temporary opening in the third wave in March. Their visitor numbers have risen steadily in recent years, to 6.7 million in 2019. Ticket sales are an important source of revenue for the Vatican City State.
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