For many Catholics, a tour of the Vatican is high on their must-do list— and it’s perfectly understandable.
The seat of the Roman Catholic Church (and the smallest country in the world) is steeped in centuries’ worth of history, art, and culture. There’s also the chance of seeing Pope Francis up close and personal during his General Audience! (Read: Here’s An Exclusive Tour of The Vatican Gardens)
So while we’re all waiting for travel restrictions to ease up, check out these four books about the Vatican. From highly visual tomes to grabbing fiction and exclusive insider information, these reads will have you booking tickets to the Vatican in no time.
Marvel at the Artistic Treasures of the Vatican With This Book.
Vatican: All the Paintings: The Complete Collection of Old Masters, Plus More than 300 Sculptures, Maps Tapestries, and other Artifacts offers nearly a thousand high-quality images of masterpieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian, as well as statues, gardens, architecture, religious items, and other centuries-old treasures found in one of the world’s most hallowed sites.
The book is divided into 22 sections representing the different areas of the Vatican, such as the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Palaces, and St. Peter’s Square. (Read: A Peek Inside the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican) Text on each artwork— from its artist to its medium and the back story behind the piece— enhances this virtual tour.
Whether you’ve been to the Vatican before or have included it in your post-pandemic bucket list, you’re sure to appreciate each and every page of this exquisite read. Available at Fully Booked online.
Craving for a Vatican Mystery? Here’s the Ideal Book for You.
In Dan Brown’s best-selling novel Angels and Demons, Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon is called in to investigate a curious marking seared onto the chest of a murdered physicist. The marking belongs to the Illuminati, an underground anti-religious organization with an evil mission: to obliterate the Vatican, then preparing for a conclave, with the highly destructive antimatter.
Together with scientist Vittoria Vetra, Robert races against time to find the antimatter hidden deep within the Vatican’s ancient crypts and cathedrals. You can watch the movie version starring Tom Hanks, but it’s certainly more fun to read. Available at Fully Booked online.
This Book Will Help Your Kids Appreciate the Vatican.
Megan Stine’s Where is the Vatican? is light yet informative read about the history of Christianity and the headquarters of the Catholic Church. (Read: Hidilyn Diaz Inspires Children to Dream High With New Book About Her Life)
With chapters like “The Largest Church in the World,” “The Pope’s Private World,” and “A Year in the Life of the Pope,” and clean, minimalist illustrations by Laurie A. Conley, this book should also appeal to the young at heart. Available on Amazon.
Go Behind-the-Scenes With This Book Written by a Priest.
The Vatican: Secrets and Treasures of the Holy City is by Fr. Michael Collins, who spent six summers in his teen years as a guide in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The fascinating read takes us behind the scenes of the world’s smallest country, through a stunning photographic tour as well as exclusive interviews with Vatican employees like a Swiss Guard and the singer of the Sistine Chapel choir. Available on Amazon.