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Vatican City

Vatican City Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in the Vatican? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in the Vatican

For an introduction to shooting in the Vatican see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Vatican Film Locations

The Vatican is a city-state surrounded by Rome. It is the world’s smallest sovereign state and the capital of the Roman Catholic Church. With an area of 49 hectares (121 acres), it is the smallest state in the world.

Film locations of interest include St Peter’s Square, St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums, and Vatican Gardens.

St Peter’s Square is a large plaza located in front of St Peter’s Basilica. The square is surrounded by a colonnade with 140 statues of saints. At its centre stands an ancient Egyptian obelisk and two fountains. The pope holds a weekly mass at St Peter’s Square.

St Peter’s Basilica is one of the largest churches in the world. The Baldacchino centre altar lies directly over the first pope’s tomb. The Sacred Grottoes crypt contains the tombs of many popes. Michelangelo’s Pietà carving is located in St Peter’s Basilica. The building’s ceiling dome is a magnificent location. St Peter’s Basilica rooftop has sweeping views of St Peter’s Square.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling is a world famous location.

The Vatican Museums, housed in the Vatican Palace and the Belvedere Palace, are home to many great artworks. The museums also have stunning courtyards including the Cortile della Biblioteca, the Cortile della Pigna, and the Cortile del Belvedere. The magnificent Scala Regia is a staircase that leads up to the Vatican Museums.

The official residence of the pope is the Apostolic Palace.

The Vatican Gardens make up over half of the state’s area. The grounds include the Vatican Radio and Governor’s Palace, as well as fountains, sculptures, trees, and lawns.

The Institute for Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank, is located in the Vatican.

Stazione Vaticana is a train station used for transporting freight to the Vatican. The station connects to Roma San Pietro railway station.

The Vatican also has a heliport.

Vatican City Film Location Permits

The Vatican does not allow filming of commercials. It reserves the right to refuse permission for filming if it feels the project does not align with its beliefs. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Rome has hot summers and mild winters. Shooting from July to August is best avoided as this is the height of the European summer holiday period. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Events of interest include:

• An audience with the Pope in St Peter’s Square every Wednesday.
• Easter Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in March / April.
• Rome International Choral Festival at Rome’s Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in July.
• Christmas Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in December.

All citizens are Catholic.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in the Vatican.

Unique Local Stories

The Vatican has some interesting statistical oddities. The ratio of men to women is seven to one. The Vatican has the world’s highest rate of petty crimes. It leads the world in per capita wine consumption.

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs are in Euros. Location fees are determined on a case by case basis so costs can vary greatly depending on the specifics of the project. Our Roman fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or films shooting in the Vatican.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. No crews exist in the Vatican. Crews can be sourced in Rome or nearby European production centres.

Contact us if you are looking for a Rome based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in the Vatican.

Talent. Less that 1000 people are Vatican citizens. Vatican City citizenship is granted solely on the grounds of appointment to work in the service of the Holy See. The population is composed of clergy and lay people serving the state, such as the Swiss Guards.

Italian is the main language of official communications.

Vatican City Film Equipment

Equipment. The Vatican has no camera, grip or lighting equipment for filming. This can be sourced in Rome or brought in from abroad.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and Set construction. Not applicable. Best sourced in Rome.

Studios and backlots. None exist. Rome has some studio facilities.

Post Production. Rome has all the standard facilities.

Visas & Work Permits

Although the Vatican is technically not a member of the Schengen Area, it has open borders with Italy, so it is treated as part of the Schengen Area. See here for more information. Contact your closest Embassy of the Holy See for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. The Vatican has no highways or airports. Several budget and international airlines service flights to Rome.

Accommodation. The Vatican has no hotels. Recommended film friendly hotels in Rome include:

St Regis Grand Rome
Splendide Royal
WRH Trastevere

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. The Vatican is a very safe place for foreign productions to visit. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Stop to appreciate the Sistine Chapel.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in the Vatican, please see below:

Hire Vatican City Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in the Vatican, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in the Vatican, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.