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Vatican to combat crowds with second entrance

A visit to Rome would hardly be complete without touring the Vatican.

But while a tour of the Vatican to see its stunning art collection, including Michelangelo's famous masterpieces, may be forever memorable, so are the notoriously long lines to get into its galleries. 

About 25,000 people visit the Vatican each day, according to Lonely Planet, and the wait in line can sometimes last hours, with some people being turned away entirely. Annually, the famed tourist attraction in the heart of Rome receives about 5.9 million visitors. 

Luckily, someone recognizes the problem. 

"It is inconceivable that people can't get in," Vatican Museums chief Barbara Jatta said, according to Lonely Planet. 

To help ease the crunch, a second entrance is now under construction, which is likely welcomed news to travelers far and wide.

According to Lonely Planet, about 25,000 people visit the Vatican and its museum each day. (Nancy Clanton / nancy.clanton@ajc.com)

 

The additional entrance will offer access to less well-known parts of the fascinating and sprawling complex, including to the Ethnological Museum, which houses 80,000 objects and works of art. 

Jatta has also pitched a second route to the Sistine Chapel, which draws enormous crowds on its own. It would be accessed around the Apostolic Palace and there would also be extended opening hours under the new plan. 

No word on when construction of the second entrance is slated to be complete. 

Additional offerings in the works include a high-tech, multimedia show that's being produced with the help of famed rocker Sting, which would be based on Michelangelo. 

Dating back to the 16th century, the Vatican Museums showcase some of the most famous pieces of classical and Renaissance art on the planet, including work by Leonardo Da Vinci and frescoes by Raphael.

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