Saturday, June 28, 2014



Founded in 1854 by Pope Pius IX Mastai Ferretti (1846/78) in the Lateran Palace and made to move here in 1963 by Pope John XXIII (1958/63
The two scholars who convinced Pius IX to found the museum were the Jesuit Giuseppe Marchi (1795/1860) and the great archaeologist G.B. De Rossi (1822/94)
It was only opened in 1970 in the new wing designed by the brothers Lucio (1922) and Fausto Passarelli (1910/98)
The material comes mostly from the Roman catacombs and ancient basilicas and includes over two hundred sarcophagi either intact or with just fronts and lids remaining
This collection of sarcophagi constitutes the largest and most important collection in the world of early Christian plastic funerary art from the origins, in the mid third century AD, until the beginning of the fifth century AD
“The Late Antiquity saw the rise of a different artistic language that appeared at the same time formally independent but also imbued by the cultural climate that developed in the late imperial Rome. The subjects are often derived from ancient classical models, but are loaded with new meanings: so Orpheus becomes 'figure' of Christ, Adonis or Endymion lend their image to portray Jonah lying under the pergola. (...) Moreover the figures, while maintaining their aesthetic value, have a mainly symbolic value, and a message to express. The result is a new art with semiotic communication, namely, an art that conveys ideas of Christian content through symbolic images” (Andrea Pomella)
“What is certain is that the parallel between the two Testaments, so evident in the depictions, looks like a familiar concept to the community of the early centuries, for which 'the dogmas common to the so-called Old and New Testaments form a unique harmony' (Origen) “(Umberto Utro)
Large group of “Jewish Inscriptions” especially from the Jewish Catacomb of Monteverde
“Inscription in the memorial stone of Abericio” bishop of Phrygia (Turkey) from the period of Marcus Aurelius (161/180)
It was donated in 1892 by the Turkish Sultan to Pope Leo XIII Pecci (1878/1903)
It is the second part of a Greek inscription in three parts, whose full content is known thanks to the literary tradition
The Christian interpretation is now commonly accepted and it would therefore be the oldest Christian inscription with a Eucharistic content
“Front of a sarcophagus with Jesus beardless among the twelve apostles bearded” from the church of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls
Statue “Good Shepherd” of the third or fourth century but largely restored in the eighteenth century
It was originally part of a large sarcophagus. The Gospel of John says: “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”
“The statue is imbued with a soft smooth molding and with a delicate elegiac vision, heir to the Hellenistic tradition” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Sarcophagus with Good Shepherd and the symbolic Vine” second half of the fourth century. Jesus appears bearded and surrounded by putti harvesting grapes
“Sarcophagus of the two Testaments or Dogmatic” about 325/350 with portraits of a couple within a clypeus and episodes of both the Old and the New Testament
Here appears the oldest existing figurative representation of the Trinity, consisting of three bearded men, the Father at the center blessing, the Son to the right touching the head of Eve who just came out from Adam's rib and the Holy Spirit on the left
“Here seems to resonate the echo of the results of the first ecumenical council of the Church, the one convened by Constantine at Nicaea (325) and of the 'symbol' of the faith in the Trinitarian God (the 'Creed') that was formulated there. (...) The Holy Spirit on the left, less characterized (as in the conciliar text itself) is similar, in the lower register, to the figure of the prophet in the scene of the Epiphany. In fact, the Spirit, 'has spoken through the prophets', according to an addition to the Nicene text made in the Council of Constantinople (381), which would actually accept a concept acquired since the earliest Fathers of the Church” (Umberto Utro)
“Sarcophagus of the two brothers” about 350, where mass production is evident: the two male faces were placed in a, so to speak, ready-to-wear, sarcophagus
It had been prepared for husband and wife and adapted later for two men
“It sticks out among the others as a masterpiece for its high quality of execution and for its style, which features the carving of figures standing out for their powerful three-dimensional quality and attention to formal details” (Andrea Pomella)
“Sarcophagus of Sabinus” about 300/325 with a central representation of a woman praying and the healing of the man born blind in between the miracle at Cana and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes
“Four sarcophagi with scenes from the Old and New Testament”
“The sense of the combination between the various scenes most often eludes us, but we often have the impression that they were not arranged in a mere decorative disorder, but rather would follow a logic of consequence, or reference between the two Testaments, yet to be examined and verified” (Umberto Utro)
It shows the monogram of Christ (Chrismon) triumphant on the Cross of Christ's martyrdom
It clearly symbolizes the moment of the Resurrection with the two Roman soldiers won at the foot of the Cross, which is transformed from humiliating punishment to a symbol of victory
“The Traditio Legis is inspired by the visions of the Apocalypse and Jesus appears there as the risen Lord on the paradise mountain, flanked by the apostles Peter and Paul as two courtiers. (...) The element that essentially characterizes the scene is the scroll that Christ gives to Peter. Jesus reveals himself as the new Moses, in the act of promulgating a new law revealed by God to men (the 'new commandment' of love: cf. John 13:34). In the scene of the Traditio Legis it is not difficult to see, finally, the changing consciousness of the Christian community, increasingly influential and triumphant in Rome at that time” (Vatican Museums - Description exhibited by the sarcophagus)
“Sarcophagus aka the Via Salaria Sarcophagus” about 250/275 AD from the place where it was found near the Mausoleum of Lucilius Paetus
At the center there are the Good Shepherd and a faithful praying and at the sides the wise dialogue between the two spouses
“Sarcophagus of the spouses Agapene and Crescenziano” mid-fourth century with in the cover the representations of the three children in the furnace and the stories of Jonah
“It is no longer the 'paradise' theme to accommodate the Christian scenes, as, on the contrary, it is a now proper Christian sarcophagus to host on its edges smaller and smaller elements of the preexisting symbolic imagery. The new century, on the sarcophagus of Jonah, has arrived and it is almost anticipated: anticipation of the great biblical sarcophagi of the age of Constantine, anticipation of fronts with double register, but also an anticipation, in the disproportionate development of the narrative story of the prophet, of the biblical iconography of the full and late fourth century (...). The centrality and the cyclic development of the story of Jonah clearly prove the Christian interpretation of this famous and prophetic short story: this is, in fact, in the words of Jesus, the 'sign' that foreshadows his resurrection from the dead (Matthew 12:39). In this sarcophagus there are also present other Easter 'signs': the resurrection of Lazarus and, an almost hidden but illuminating detail, that of the water of the flood, from which Noah is rescued” (Umberto Utro)
“Sarcophagus with crossing the Red Sea”
Also the very important and wonderful cast of “Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus” now in the Museum of the Treasure of St. Peter's Basilica

Friday, June 27, 2014



Section III – Roman Sculpture of the first century and of the beginning of second century AD

“Round Altar dedicated to Pietas (mercy)” with garlands of fruit and attributes of Vulcan
“Relief with personifications of Etruscan cities” Tarquinia represented by the mythical founder Tarchon, Vulci represented by a veiled woman seated on a throne and Vetulonia represented by a man under a pine tree with an oar over his shoulder
“Two Sileni sleeping over goatskins” from the fountain of the theater of Cerveteri
“Colossal statue of Claudius” (41/54) with a crown of oak about 47 AD
“In contrast to the broad masses of the body, the actual portrait, careful to reproduce the mature facial features with a molding soft and pictorial, shows the first signs of Baroque revival that will be predominant in the portraits of Nero's period” (Simon Fortunella - TMG)
“Colossal statue of Tiberius” (14/37) with a crown of oak
The drapery is incredibly natural in showing the shape of the body so much as to recall the acrobatic virtuosity expressed seventeen centuries later by Antonio Corradini with the spectacular Vestal Tuccia now in the National Gallery of Ancient Art in Palazzo Barberini
Agrippina Minor was the wife of Claudius, Caligula's sister, mother of Nero, the great-granddaughter of Augustus and nephew of Tiberius (he was the brother of his grandfather Drusus): therefore she was incredibly related to all five of the first Roman emperors
“Relief of the altar called Vicomagistri's” 30/40 AD with sacrificial procession of four Vicomagistri from the Palazzo della Cancelleria (Palace of the Chancellery)
The portraits date back to the Julio-Claudian period
Vicomagistri were priestly officials dedicated to the cult of the Lares Compitales, protective deities for the family and for the intersections where there were placed small shrines dedicated to them
Interestingly, this tradition has also been adopted by Christianity and it is still thriving in many Catholics cities and villages
They were mostly found in the Volusii columbarium on the Appian Way
“Decorative reliefs Bacchic with scenes”
“Victimarius with bull and Camilla”
Adventus (arriving in Rome) of Vespasian (69/79) very fragmented, maybe his arrival in Rome in 70 when he was received by his son Domitian
Profectio (departure to war) of Domitian (81/96) maybe for the campaign against the Germans in 83, with head replaced with that of Nerva (96/98) because of Domitian's damnatio memoriae
Damnatio memoriae was the elimination of all images and memories for posterity of personalities declared enemies of Rome and of the Senate after their death
“Last example, still in the Domitian period, of Augustan classicism (...). The figures are still aligned all in the same row and stand against a completely neutral wall” (Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli)
They were maybe building contractors. Their tomb was found at the third mile of the ancient Via Labicana near Centocelle
Among the findings of the end of the first century AD:
There are eagles in the third level of the Colosseum and reproductions of other buildings: entrance Arch of the Iseum Campensis of the 80 AD, Temple of Jupiter Custos and arch with written on it Arcus in Sacra Via Summa identified by some with the Arch of Titus but more probably to be identified with the Porta Mugonia, also because the Via Sacra (Sacred Way) did not pass under the Arch of Titus
The crane was called capra (goat) or rechamum with five men inside as little Guinea pigs, two outside with ropes to be used as brakes and two at the top with a bunch of branches to be placed on the highest spot to indicate the end of the works
It is a tradition that is still active in Italy even though more often, instead of branches, an Italian flag is used
“Bust of Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus” (45/136 AD), an important Roman politician of Spanish origin. He married Hadrian's sister, who was thirty years younger than him
He was a friend of Pliny the Younger. Hadrian would have wanted him as successor but he was ninety at the time, way too old
“Relief of procession of magistrates in front of a temple” the top part of the relief is a cast from the original now in the Museo delle Terme
“Two portraits of older women”
“Relief with vexillum containing eagle” of the legion XII Fulminata
“Colossal Statue of Dacian prisoner” second century AD

SECTION IV - Sarcophagi

“Myth of Adonis” about 220 with not relevant lid with “Saga of Oedipus”
“Myth of Adonis” about 300
“Myth of Phaedra and Hippolytus”
Three sarcophagi found near Porta Viminalis 132/134:
“Gorgon masks and festoons”, “Myth of Orestes” and “Slaughter of the Niobids” with Artemis and Apollo shooting arrows in the lid and the parents of the Niobids, Amphion and Niobe, along with two teachers and a nurse who try in vain to protect some children
On the right side of the sarcophagus “Veiled Woman and bearded man in front of a grave” and on the left “Rocky landscape with two oxen, nymph and male deity” who are probably commenting on the tragedy
“The figure of Amphion armed in the scene of the massacre is in line with some sources that tell of his vain effort to bring assistance to his children and especially his ill-fated attempt to avenge their death by attacking the temple of Apollo, assault paid with his death. Diametrically opposite is Niobe's position, also represented in the misplaced hope of saving the two younger daughters who have taken refuge with her. The center of the relief is occupied by the very lively scene of the massacre. Any temporal or spatial scanning was abolished, there is no trace of the separation between the sons and daughters, and what it is proposed here to the view is e real mass slaughter that strikes indiscriminately on all the offspring” (Dario Iacolino -
“Myth of Mars and Rhea Silvia and of Selene and Endymion” about 250
“Fragments of sarcophagi with harvesting and crushing grapes”

Section V – Roman sculpture II and III century from Ostia

“Statue of Antinous as Vertumnus” with modern head and on the right “Portrait of Hadrian” rather ruined
Statues reproducing the two gay lovers are often placed next to each other in many archeological museums
“Omphale” beginning of the third century AD. The date of this piece is easily identifiable by the hairdo à la Julia Domna, the wife of Septimius Severus (193/211)
Omphale was the queen of Lydia that held Heracles as a slave for three years and with whom she had four children
She held him such a subject that he was forced to wear her women's clothing as she loved to wear the skin of the Nemean Lion and to use the club as it appears in this statue
“Torso of a loricate imperial statue in porphyry” maybe Trajan or Hadrian, found in 1869 in the Hospital of St. John Lateran and other fragments of imperial statues in porphyry
“Eight Roman portraits” of mid-second century
“Statue of Dogmatius with toga” head of about 330 and body of the second century AD
Beautiful “Pastoral Relief” with eagle catching a hare
At the center of the room extraordinary “Mosaic Asàrotos oikos” from a triclinium floor of a villa of the Hadrian's period (117/138)
The idea of a floor with leftover food had been originally, according to Pliny the Elder, of the Greek mosaicist Sosos of Pergamum in the second century BC and this mosaic, inspired by him, was signed by the mosaicist Heraclitus
“The mosaicist has created a floor strewn with remains of food, as it should appear at the end of a lavish banquet: one can recognize fruits, fish bones, chicken bones, mollusks, shells and even a little mouse gnawing a nut shell. The consistency of the subjects is made through an effective play of colors of the shadows cast on the white floor. At the original entrance of the room there are theatrical masks and ritual objects; at the center there is part of a complex River Nile scene“ (Web Site of the Vatican Museums -
“Group of Mithras” who kills the bull, third century AD
“Mithra was an Indo-Iranian deity associated with Varuna. Together they represent the two aspects, day and night, of the sky, and two aspects of the human and cosmic: Varuna punishes offenders, Mithra guarantees and protects the right terms. The earliest mention of Mithra is an enumeration of the pantheon of Mitanni's gods in the 14th century BC. (...) Mithraism, introduced from 1st century AD in Italy, spread throughout the Empire, especially in border provinces where it was propagated by military garrisons. The Emperor Commodus was a follower and other later emperors, up to Julian the Apostate contributed to its prestige. Mithraism penetrated well, though not in its strict form of mysteries, even in public religion, where it was identified with the worship of the sun. It was a powerful rival of Christianity and between the two religions there was probably some mutual influence” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
“Omphalos wrapped in bandages” attribute of Delphic Apollo
“Altar with the labors of Hercules”
“Two statues of Asclepius”
“Hercules shooting the bow”
“Diana of Ephesus”
“Mosaic floor with athletes and judges” in frames from the Baths of Caracalla (211/217) but executed in about 225 during the completion of the Baths by Alexander Severus (222/235) who was very fond of athletics
“The theme, used in former ages to celebrate with a classical view the ideal of the correspondence between the physical and intellectual excellence, is here transformed into a vivid expression of strong physicality, through the emphasis on strongly accentuated muscles and the portraiture representation of the athletes' faces, revealing brutal and violent psychologies” (Gian Luca Grassigli - TMG)
Opened in the 1980s. It was formerly preserved in the Lateran Palace
3430 ancient Roman inscriptions 2,012 of which are patchy
They are divided into two groups: Inscriptions of Rome found in the city and Municipal Inscriptions found in ancient cities of Latium
The inscriptions are placed on frames sliding on tracks for easy use

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Museo Gregoriano Profano
Founded in 1844 by Pope Gregory XVI Cappellari (1831/46) in the Lateran Palace
Transferred here by the will of John XXIII Roncalli (1958/63), but only opened in 1970 in the new wing designed by the brothers Lucio (1922) and Fausto Passarelli (1910/98)
Entering on the right "Bust in marble of Pope Gregory XVI" founder of the Gregorian Profane Museum and "Bust in cast iron of Pius IX" founder of the Pius Christian Museum
The majority of the works was found in the early nineteenth century in the area of the papal state. The intent in this museum is philological: sculpture shown here has no later additions or arbitrary "completions" like most of the statues kept in the rest of the Vatican Museums
"There is no doubt that it was Greek art to determine the formation of rules and aesthetic principles that are a constant reference for the subsequent evolution of Western art" (Andrea Pomella)
"Stele of the Gymnast" about 450 BC Attic sepulchral relief found in the Esquiline Quarter in the Horti of Maecenas
Documented in 1527 in the garden of the palace of Cardinal Cesi in Rome, in the seventeenth century it passed to the nearby church of S. Lorenzo in Piscibus where in 1701 it was cut in two: the bottom became the manhole of the ossuary of St. Nicola's devotees and the top became a manhole of the sewer. It was recomposed in 1902
It is one of five steles found in the same area of the Horti of Maecenas and probably these valuable works, admired already in Roman times as true "antiques", must have recreated a romantic cemetery, pictured on the model of the Athenian Kerameikos and in the intention of Maecenas it must have been a tribute to the world of classical Greek culture
The deceased athlete hails while a small boy in front of him holds a strigil and a aryballos (a metal scraper small vase with globular body) for the oil with which athletes used to clean themselves. The image exudes a sense of deep sadness for the contrast between death expressed by the object itself, a funeral stele, and the life of the young athlete represented with a perfect ideal Greek body
"Three pieces of sculptures from the Parthenon" early IV century BC: heads of Athena's horse from the west pediment, destroyed in 1687, of a boy with a basket from the Panathenaic procession in the north frieze and of a bearded man, probably Erechtheion from one of the ninety-two metope in the south side
"Head of a mule" early IV century BC
"Head of Athena" about 460 BC. It was part of an acrolito, a statue with the exposed parts of the body in marble and the rest in wood covered with metal, perhaps gilded bronze. Traces of material are left that were used to make the statue multicolored: chalcedony (microcrystalline quartz in compact masses) for the eyeballs, bronze foil for the eyelashes and glass paste for the pupils. The holes in the head were used for the supports of the helmet
"Fragment of a relief with a knight" Boeotian art from about 440/430 BC
"Three male figures" end of the fifth century BC
"Relief with knight" Attic art about 400 BC
"Female Figure" top part of a third century BC funerary stele
"Seven reliefs" from the fifth to the second century BC
"Group of Marsyas, body and head of Athena" copy of a bronze group by Myron of Eleutherae (about 500/440 BC) of about 460 BC placed at the entrance of the Acropolis in Athens. The beautiful fragment of the face is finished in plaster
The original appearance of the group can be reconstructed from the descriptions of Pausanias and Pliny and also from coins which reproduce it
Marsyas was a Silenus, a mythological character with a tail, ears and hooves of a horse, a native of Phrygia, a region of nowadays Turkey. One day he stumbled upon the double flute which Athena had discarded, after having cursed it, having noticed that she ridiculous and ugly, with swollen cheeks, as she played it
The Silenus instead became aware of his abilities and wonder evoked in all who heard his music. Convinced at this point that he was so good to compete with the gods, he accepted Apollo's challenge in a musical competition. The Muses, by decision of the god, would decide the winner
The first round was even, so the god proposed to compete playing and singing simultaneously. Being impossible to sing for anyone playing the double flute, the competition was inevitably won by Apollo, who, playing the lyre, could also sing
The punishment for Marsyas was terrible: he was hanged from a tree and skinned alive. The gods had punished the one who dared to confront them, thus becoming guilty of arrogance
The moment of discovery of the flute is brilliantly frozen by Myron, expressing emotions entirely human in an entirely mythological context
"The ability to compose different moods in harmony and lightness of accents is one of the greatest virtues of Myron, in whom it can be perfectly detected the emergence of new values that consider heroism the ability to live an earthly life with full consciousness" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"Myron appears to be still tied to archaism, his analytical nude is contracted, his rhythm, which at first glance may seem singularly complex and evolved, is still connected to drawing patterns; but this transferring movements born as drawings to the statuary will be fruitful of results, and this study of new rhythms, which leads him to select particular subjects and to conceive his figures in an instantaneous and unstable movement, testifies to the originality of his artistic temperament" (Enciclopedia Treccani)
Various heads including the fragmentary basalt one called "Idolino" copy of an honorary Polyclitean statue about 440 BC representing a young winner in athletic games
"Statue of Sophocles" from the bronze original executed by the sons of Praxiteles, Cephisodotus and Timarchus in about 335 BC for Lycurgus and placed in the theater of Dionysus in Athens
"Portrait of Anacreon" from an original of about 440 BC by Phidias
"Herm of Homer" from an original of about 460 BC
"Head of Sophocles" from the portrait that his son Iophon ordered. It was found in Terracina in 1839
"Relief with Medea and Peliades" neo-Attic copy of the first century BC from an original of the fifth century BC, as well as the "Triangular base with reliefs of Bacchus"
"Colossal statue of Neptune" neo-Attic work of the first century BC from an original of the fourth century BC
"Relief with Menander and Comedy" first century BC with Menander amiably discussing with the muse
"Mosaic" with a dining room floor unswept
Reconstruction of the "Tomb of Vicovaro" about 30/40 AD. It was round and twenty marble blocks with ox skulls and festoons are present here
"Top part of a statue of Artemis" from the original in Severe style
"Headless statue of a woman with tunic" from an original of the fifth century BC
"Torso of a statue of Athena" from an original of the fourth century BC
"Two statues of Aurae" personifications of the winds, neo-Attic Hellenistic works of the first century BC from an original of about 400 BC. The drapery was carved in an extraordinarily virtuosic way
"Chiaramonti Niobid" found in the 1500s at Villa Adriana, copy of a Hellenistic group of the second century. BC, maybe by Praxiteles or Scopas, according to Pliny the Elder
The name is due to the fact that it was originally kept in the Museum Chiaramonti
Niobe, mythical queen mother of seven sons and seven daughters, the Niobids, dared to boast of being more prolific than Leto who only had two children, and for this she was punished by the very children of Leto, Apollo and Artemis who killed with arrows all of the fourteen Niobids
"Head of a Muse" from an original by Praxiteles of the fourth century BC
"Torso of a statue of Diana" from an original of the fourth century BC

Tuesday, June 24, 2014



A branch of the Museo Storico Vaticano (Vatican Historical Museum) housed in the Lateran Palace
Created in 1973 by Pope Paul VI Montini (1963/78) and located under the Square Garden

Carriages of popes and cardinals, with various harnesses, and graphic and photographic documentation of solemn processions. In addition, sedans, carriages and a black landau for daily transportation


Paintings and busts of popes

Bust of Pius VI Braschi (1775/99)” by Alberto Galli (1840/1920)
“Bronze bust of Pius XI Ratti (1922/39)” by Gyslings Ambrosi (1839/1975)


Sedans and coaches

Sedan of Leo XIII Pecci (1878/1903) 1893 of Roman manufacturing, with beautiful gilding

Sedan of Leo XIII painted in 1887 by the great Neapolitan painter Domenico Morelli (1823/1901)
The sedan has the shape of a boat and it is an allegory of the Catholic Church whose rudder is governed by the pope. In the front there is a painting with "St. Peter consecrates St. Aspreno first bishop of Naples"

Grand gala coach built in 1826 for Leo XIII Pecci (1878/1903) by Felice Eugeni. It was modified with new decorations by Gaetano Peroni in 1841
It is the most spectacular coach of the collection. It was used four times a year during important ceremonies
The last time it was seen through the streets of Rome was on September 8, 1870, when Pius IX went to S. Maria del Popolo. A few days later the Papal States ceased to exist, following the breach of Porta Pia on 20 September, and the coach was never ever used again

Luciano Luigi Bonaparte had received as a gift from his cousin Napoleon III on the occasion of his appointment as cardinal

Escort sedan about 1850 by the Casalini Brothers
It does not bear any papal coat of arms and it was also made available to guests

Traveling coach about 1855/57 by Roman craftsmen
Pius IX visited with this coach the Romagna Papal possessions in 1857. It was a very strong coach and the only one to be equipped with brakes in metal covered with leather for the rear wheels. It was used at least until 1922

Landau about 1890 by Carlo Ferretti
Only example of papal landau. It was convertible and this allowed the pope to be seen while traveling


Various automobiles used by the popes

Citroën Lictoria C6 1930 by the Italian Cars Company Citroën Milan
It was donated to Pope Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) from the Italian Citroën in 1930 to celebrate the Reconciliation of the Italian State and the Catholic Church and the pope's fifty years of priestly ordination
It's definitely the most refined of all popes’ cars. It does not differ much from the regular series but the color and the finish distinguish it beautifully. The rear cockpit is equipped as a throne room, as a Venetian sitting room of the eighteenth century
Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58) avoided using it during the tragic World War II and preferred the more austere Graham Paige 837

Mercedes Benz 460 limousine Nürnberg 1930 donated to Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) on the occasion of the Conciliation between the Italian state and the Catholic Church
It's a wonderful car, retro style, but of great power for the time. It can deliver 80 horsepower and reach speeds of 110 km per hour

Graham Paige 837 of 1929 built by Graham Paige Motors Corpration Detroit
On this car, the pope came out from the Vatican for the first time since the fall of Rome on 20 September 1870. It was December 22, 1929 and Pius XI Ratti (1922/39) went to the Basilica of St. John Lateran to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination
This car was used by Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58) to visit the district of S. Lorenzo after the bombing of Rome on 19 July 1943. On that tragic occasion he had left the Vatican on a Mercedes 230 but it had a technical problem on the way and it was replaced with this Graham Paige
Mercedes Benz 300 SEL limousine of 1966 by Daimler Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart
It was rarely used by Paul VI Montini (1963/78) but St. John Paul II Wojtyla (1978/2005) used it a lot and it was his favorite car even if it was not air conditioned
After the attempt on the life of the pope in St. Peter's Square in 1981, this car was heavily armored in all its parts

Fiat 1107 Nuova Campagnola of 1980 on board of which St. John Paul II Wojtyla (1978/2005) was seriously injured during the attempt on his life of 13 May 1981
This "Popemobile" was only used for a year and a day. After the attack John Paul II didn’t use it anymore for a long time until the last years of his papacy and Benedict XVI Ratzinger (2005/13) used it in the first months of his one

There is also a model of the first locomotive that ever entered in Vatican City. It dates to 1929 but it only worked from 1934