The Vatican is preparing to implement new entry measures to the Museums, which will go into effect on January 1, 2024. The announcement, made on the Vatican Museums website, explained that the changes will be made with an eye towards the “grand event of the 2025 Jubilee” and should guarantee the most efficient “usability of the pontifical collections.”
The first major change will be to extend the visiting hours for all Vatican Museums. Starting in 2024, the museums will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., with the last entry at 5:00 p.m. This means that visitors who arrive at 5:00 p.m. will still be afforded a few hours to browse the exhibits.
The objective of extending the hours is to divide attendance over a longer period of time. The report noted that this measure should improve the quality and safety of visits by decreasing crowd density. To this end, tour groups will also be limited to no more than 20 visitors per guide. During the high tourist season, the hours will be further extended until 8:00 p.m., with the final entry at 6:00 p.m.
New ticketing system
In a bid to combat “the secondary ticketing phenomenon,” in which tickets are purchased in bulk to be resold privately, a new ticketing system will be established. The report notes the goal of the ticketing system:
“The aim is to be able to ensure the purchase of entry tickets for both individual visitors, pilgrims, families, schools, as well as sector operators, so that everyone’s specific needs are met.”
The new ticketing system attaches a visitor’s name to each ticket, which will ensure that the Vatican knows just who is coming in and out of the museums. The report noted that the Vatican will perform “thorough checks” of each visitor’s identity to ensure proper ticket sale and the safety of all visitors.
A final, much welcome, change to the Vatican Museums will be the expansion of air conditioning systems throughout their exhibition rooms. This is expected to be a major undertaking that will be installed gradually over an undisclosed period of time. The report noted that it will “protect the health and well-being of visitors” while creating a more comfortable environment for viewing exhibits. The air conditioning will also play a part in the protection and conservation of the various exhibits of the Vatican Museums.