- The Vatican Museums from a Jewish perspective
- The Sistine Chapel interpreting Michelangelo’s messages
- Historical Survey of the Jewish Presence in Rome
- The Jewish Lapidarium (whenever available)
- Saint Peter’s Basilica
- Saint Peter’s Square
THE JEWISH VATICAN EXPERIENCE
The Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica are not only an absolute must for visitors of any faith and provenance, but also offer to Jewish visitors very specific reasons of enormous interest and surprise.
Consider that the Jews settled in Rome well before the birth of Jesus , not so say about the establishment of the Papacy. Easy to imagine that not all the Popes were nice to the Jews, however this was not always true. During our Vatican tour we’ll have many occasions to fully investigate this topic.
Everyone should know that inside the Vatican Museums there’s an extraordinary work of art that needs to be interpreted from a Jewish viewpoint to be fully interpreted and judged: that is the Sistine Chapel.
The restoration of the huge frescoes started in 1980 and was completed in 1999: together with the vibrancy of colors employed by Michelangelo to narrate the Genesis and the Last Judgement many details, formerly covered by layers of dirt and re-paintings came into view, striking the attention of many scholars.
Professor Benjamin Blech and writer-lecturer Roy Doliner are the co-authors of “The Sistine Secrets”, a fascinating book – nothing to share with fictions such as Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ – focusing on the hidden messages, that Michelangelo embedded in the enormous fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
These messages were concealed under the nose of Pope Julius II, who Michelangelo despised as corrupt and immoral, come from the Talmud, the Qabbalah and the Midrash, that the artist seems to know well.
Our Jewish Vatican Discovery will stress the accent on Michelangelo’s deep knowledge of Jewish religious and mystical texts, that he derived from world-famous humanists Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola at the court of the Medici in Florence. These people knew Hebrew, Aramaic and studied the texts in depth.
Your guide will point out the most relevant details on the great Genesis above your heads: figures of prophets looking like Hebrew letters, prophet Aminadab wearing a yellow “O” on his arm, the Serpent of Adam and Eve having legs and arms as only in the Midrash, Adam offering Eve a fig not an apple…
Our Jewish Vatican Discovery guide will discuss about the reasons why Michelangelo decided
- This tour lasts approximately 3 hours and costs: 370 euro up to 6 people
- Only private parties.
- For larger parties: please send us an email!
- Admission fees can vary according to the time frame selected (early morning, evening, etc.)
- The earlier you book the easier will be to accomodate you!
- No shorts, no sleeveless garments
- Please wear comfortable shoes and a hat in summer