7. The Vatican Museums, Rome

The richest museum complex in the world is stuffed with priceless paintings from major artists of every age. Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century, it's home to renowned classical sculptures and the most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. Tapestries, frescoes, and statues line the long corridors finishing off in the Sistine Chapel, to which everyone is drawn, as it houses Michelangelo's ceiling fresco depicting Creation and his Giudizio Universale (Last Judgment). The papal picture gallery contains Raphael's last work, Transfiguration (1517-20), surrounded by other prestigious works such as those of Titian, Caravaggio, and Leonardo da Vinci, who had a habit of leaving his work unfinished. Another highlight is the120-meter-long Map Gallery, where 40 topographical maps of Italy from the 16th century are displayed. The Vatican Museums are a sensory delight, but beware the long queues, as everyone wants to take a look at the Roman Catholic Church's treasures.

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