In order to overcome any barrier or discrimination in the enjoyment of the artistic and cultural heritage accessible to visitors, the Vatican Museums have for some time opened their doors to deaf and hard of hearing visitors, offering a free service of guided tours in Italian Sign Language (LIS).
The tour, which offers three different itineraries, is guided by deaf educational workers selected by the Vatican Museums through an innovative professional training and employment project.
Raphael’s Rooms and Sistine Chapel (2h)
Discovering the masterpieces of Raphael and Michelangelo in the Vatican Apostolic Palaces.
Pio Clementino Museum and the Sistine Chapel (2h)
A journey through painting and sculpture, from masterpieces of classical statuary to the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century works of the Sistine Chapel.
Vatican Gardens (2h)
An evocative journey through the historical, botanical and architectural treasures of the Vatican Gardens.
Days of visit
Wednesday (from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.), Saturday (from 9.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.; from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.; from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.); Friday (Evening Openings).
The Pope’s Museums also welcome oralist deaf people who do not use or do not understand Sign Language, and instead use lip-reading only. They are offered, again by prior reservation, the possibility of discovering the papal collections, free of charge, accompanied by a specialised educator.
An innovative video guide in American Sign Language (ASL), supplements and completes the options offered by the Vatican Museums for deaf or hard of hearing visitors. Distributed free of charge at the Antenna International desk (Courtyard of the Cuirasses), the video guide in ASL accompanies the visitor on a fascinating tour of the main Vatican masterpieces: from the splendid statue of the Apoxyomenos to the Laocoön Group, from the Apollo to the Torso of the Belvedere, from the Gallery of the Tapestries to the Gallery of Maps, from the Apartment of St. Pius V to the Sobieski Room. The Raphael’s Rooms and the Sistine Chapel are also included in the guided tour.