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Virtual tours make it easier than ever to see all the Vatican has to offer

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Take a trip to the Vatican without ever leaving your chair!

The Vatican website wants everyone to be able to visit Rome and experience its vast collection of art and fine architecture. Knowing that not everyone has the means or physical ability to make such a pilgrimage, they have set up a wide range of virtual tours.

Now you can wander St. Peter’s Square, delve into the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis, and bask in the awe-inspiring masterpieces of the Sistine Chapel, all from the comfort of your computer chair.

The new line of virtual tours comes thanks to the efforts of Justin Myers, a Villanova University student who spent a whole semester setting up cameras to get 360-degree shots of some of the most iconic spots in the Vatican.

Justin spoke with Crux News about the work he did, and it sounds tedious to say the least. He said:

“Just of one gallery room, there were about 1,500 photos,” he said. “There were segments of 14 pictures in multiple spots through the gallery. The camera is set up in the center of the room and it takes 360-degree photos: 14 of them all around in a circle, and then one of the ceiling and one of the floor. And then it moves to a different spot, takes 14 photos, over and over again.”

Myers made it through the grueling hours of hard work, and his efforts were not in vain. Now, anyone with a device and internet access can visit one of the many sites chosen for digitization. These sites include:

Saint Peter’s Basilica

Saint John Lateran 

Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls

Saint Mary Major

Redemptoris Mater Chapel

The Sistine Chapel

The Pauline Chapel

Chiaramonti Museum

The New Wing

Raphael’s Room

The Pio Clementino Museum

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