Carriage Museum Vatican (Carriage Pavilion)
Where is the Vatican Carriage Museum?
The Museum of the Popes' Fleet is part of the Vatican Museum. You can only visit it if you pay for the whole gigantic museum entrance fee.
The Carriage and Papamobil Museum is somewhat hidden in the huge museum complex. The Popes' carriage pavilion can be reached by walking to the right from the entrance and going down a staircase to the basement in the accessible part of the museum garden. The exhibition of the Vatican Carriage Pavilion is housed in a kind of cellar in a large hall.
Important: The carriage museum is well signposted in the museum, but like everything else only in Italian. The museum is called "Padiglione delle Carrozze" in Italian. The signs are only in Italian.
What can you see in the Vatican Carriage Museum?
In the museum of the Pope's vehicles you can see great carriages in the front area. There is a very richly decorated carriage for special occasions, but also normal coaches. In former times, the popes often travelled for weeks within Italy or Europe. Accordingly, good coaches were important.
Among the cars of the popes are many cars in completely different categories. You can see a very simple Fiat and a VW Beetle. But also a chic, white off-road vehicle and a black luxury Mercedes are available. Some popes, like the current pope Franziskus (Papa Francesco), are very modest and like to use a simple small car. Other popes were more inclined to the luxury car.
Especially interesting are the Papamobiles. These are the well-known vehicles with which the Pope drives standing past a large number of people. You can also see the Papamobile vehicle that Pope John Paul II used on 13 May 1981 during the assassination attempt against him. An assassin in Rome shot the Pope several times in the Papamobil. John Paul II was seriously injured. Afterwards the Papamobiles were no longer open, but provided with a glass protection. Also such a Pope mobile with protection is exhibited in the vehicle museum of the Popes.
To our knowledge all vehicles in the carriage museum (one hears also Pope vehicle museum or Papamobil museum) are original carriages and cars (no replicas or similar).
While many departments of the Vatican Museum are crowded with people, the basement is usually relatively crowded with popes' vehicles. One could also call the papal carriage and car exhibitions a small secret tip in the Vatican. For us, the Padiglione delle Carrozze is a highlight in the huge Vatican museums.
Other pages about the Vatican Museum in this travel guide
Sistine Chapel Vatican, the highlight of the museum
The famous painting gallery of the Vatican with works by Da Vinci, Raphaelo and many others
Location Museum for Pope Vehicles in the Vatican