Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Vatican Mosaic Studio - A CCR Tour

CCR is happy to be able to invite you to a tour of Vatican Mosaic Studio which will take place on Tuesday, June 22 at 3:00pm. The Mosaic Studio, created in the 16th century is responsible for the conservation and restoration of the ten thousand square meters of mosaic work in Saint Peter's Basilica and is one of the hidden treasures of the Vatican.

The tour is limited to 15 CCR members at a cost of €10.00 per person. Guests of CCR members will be wait-listed and accommodated according to available space. The cost for guests will be €15.00 per person.

When: June 22, 2010
Time: 3:00pm
Meeting Point: at Piazza del Sant' Uffizio
the Piazza meets Via Paolo VI, to the left of the colonnade when facing San Pietro
Everyone attending must have a piece of Photo ID
Cost: Limited to CCR members - €10.00 per person
Guests if confirmed from the waiting list - €15.00 per person
Book by June 17 through Cindi Emond at:


Not many visitors to Vatican City know about the Vatican Mosaic Studio, which is housed in the ancient hospice of Santa Marta. This unique workshop is the place that all the Vatican mosaics are created as well as the restoration of the many famous mosaics throughout Vatican City is carried out.

Since 1727, the mosaics found in the Basilica of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls were created by the Studio artisans that work diligently to create these amazing masterpieces including the Chronological Series of the Supreme Pontiffs. A few of the marvels that have been designed and created in the Mosaic Studio include reproductions of famous paintings such as Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

The entire studio is equipped with all the tools needed to create the mosaics including a room that looks similar to an old pharmacy full of several wooden drawers that is the location of the colour store. Every drawer in the room has a special number that corresponds to a specific glaze totally over 2600 colours.

The unique craftsmanship found in the Vatican mosaics is one that has been passed down from generation to generation as the older members of the Studio teaching the secrets of the art to the younger artists. The studio not only creates the beautiful reproductions of famous artwork, but also has the function of constantly restoring the mosaics in Vatican City including Saint Peter's dome. The Dome is a particular favorite of tourist looking to take a piece of the Basillica

Throughout history, the Pope during various trips to other countries has offered as a gift a mosaic created in the Vatican Mosaic Studio. Some of the breathtaking mosaics giving as gifts include the famous table in mosaic with the representation of Achilles’ shield given to Charles X King of France in 1826 by Pope Leo XII and a reproduction of the Christ of the Niche of the Pallia in the Vatican Gardens which John Paul II gave Fidel Castro as a gift on his visit to Cuba.