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Tickitaly are official agents for the Vatican and offer Vatican tickets as well as both group and private Vatican tours You may also be interested in our FAQ page where we attempt to answer all your questions on visiting the Vatican.

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Cortile della Pigna

An internal grassed courtyard within the walls of the Vatican Museums, the Cortile della Pigna (courtyard of the pine cone) is part of the much older Cortile del Belvedere, sliced into six parts when Pope Sixtus V built his library across the existing courtyard. Now the Cortile del Belvedere, Cortile della Pigna and Cortile della Biblioteca provide a welcome breath of fresh air during your tour around the Vatican Museums.

The pine cone in question is a four-metre high bronze statue, from around the first century AD, and which originally resided in the Pantheon. It was in the old St Peter's before being moved to a raised plinth here by Julius II. Set before a huge, scooped arch in the walls of the Vatican (designed by Bramante) it dominates the courtyard. Adding a dramatic splash of modernity is a massive, revolving metal sphere in the centre of the courtyard, this sculpture by Pomodoro and created in 1990.


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