rome, part two

Our big plan for Saturday was to head over to the Vatican. So, after our typical leisurely morning routine – which involved just barely making it to our hotel’s complimentary breakfast before it ended at 10:30 (hey, we were on vacation!) – we hopped on the subway and then walked to the Vatican, being attacked by potential tour guides right and left along the way.

As always, we enjoyed the walk to our destination.

We had heard that the line to get into the Vatican Museum was always really long, and yes, in fact, it was (we were told it was two hours long):

At this point, we decided to stop ignoring the pushy tour guide people and go ahead and join a group tour. This was a really good decision, since we got to skip the line AND we had a very helpful and informative tour guide to take us through the museum.

The courtyard of the Vatican Museum.

The art was amazing. I’m the first to admit that I know absolutely NOTHING about art, so it was really interesting to learn about the various pieces and how they fit into the history of Rome.

Even the ceilings are intricate pieces of art.

After spending a couple of hours in the museum, we reached the Sistine Chapel. We weren’t allowed to take photos there, and I was actually happy about that – it allowed for us to really take in what we were seeing. And WOW! I had a moment of sheer and utter awe in seeing Michelangelo’s magnificent work with my own eyes. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me.

After leaving the Sistine Chapel, we headed next door to St. Peter’s Basilica. Just in case we couldn’t figure out where to go, several handmade signs were slapped up on the wall:

That’s a terrible photo, but I just cracked up at the tacky little hand-made signs when we were touring some of the finest architecture and art in the world!

So, next up was St. Peter’s. We entered from the Sistine Chapel, so we didn’t enter through the famous square (but we saw that later). St. Peter welcomed us:

We decided to head right up to the cupola, which involved climbing 530 steps and seriously brought out my claustrophobia:

The views were more than worth the climb!

The Vatican Gardens

St. Peter's Square

After taking a break for a drink on the way back down, we entered the magnificent St. Peter’s. It is enormous and ornate, to say the least. I don’t have very good photos, but here are a couple:

Some of the brass for the altar was actually pilfered from the Pantheon (which we visited the next day).

After touring the church, we exited through the public square.

St. Peter's Basilica

No day in Italy is complete without gelato, so we had a little treat on our way back to our hotel:

We were both seriously beat after our 8 hours of standing and walking (I always forget how tiring museums are!), so after a rest and our obligatory Prosecco, we decided to stay close to the hotel for dinner. Craig found a highly recommended place nearby, but when we got to the address, it simply wasn’t there. So, we wandered a bit and stumbled upon a cute-looking Sicilian place. Unfortunately, the meal wasn’t all that great (it was good, but disappointing after the fine meal we’d had the night before). However, we got to eat outside on a cute little side street in Rome (something I’d always wanted to do) and the vino didn’t disappoint!

Cin cin! (Cheers!)

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10 Responses to rome, part two

  1. Meg B says:

    I continue to be completely jealous of your vacation. It seems like you guys struck a nice balance of museum-tourist-stuff and time-to-relax, eat-and-drink-stuff.

  2. Jenny says:

    gosh, everything looks so beautiful! i bet your dinner on the side street was fabulous, even if the cuisine was the greatest!

  3. Angela says:

    The Sistine Chapel is breathtakingly beautiful! Thanks for sharing your photos and you wouldn’t appreciate a cup of authentic gelato :).

  4. Sigh… so lovely!
    Ugh, I remember ALL THOSE STAIRS! And some (I don’t remember where exactly) were even scarier than the ones in your photo. Sheesh.
    Love that you got to skip the line at the Vatican. I don’t remember waiting in line, so we must have gotten there super early… probably due to jet lag.
    Anyway, I’m lovin’ vicariously returning to Italy through your blog!

  5. Kelly says:

    Awww, loving your Italy posts – thank you for stringing them out for maximum enjoyment by the rest of us 🙂 You keep saying your photos aren’t good but I have to say that they are! I remember all these amazing things to climb in Italy (duomos galore) and I never climbed them because of my fear of heights and small spaces. I let Jon climb them all and he took a photo from the top of me lounging on the square below.

  6. kris says:

    Kelly, I LOVE these posts!! Unfortunately, they are making me want to pack up my bags and fly to Italy this instant!

  7. Christine says:

    I’m loving this Kelly! For not having a working camera, you got some FABULOUS pics!

    The Sistine Chapel is one of my fave locations, and one I hope to go to again someday. It’s just breath-taking and inspiring…

    AND, I am completely jealous you got to dine al fresco in Rome!!!

  8. Sandra says:

    SHowing the gelato was uncalled for 😉

  9. Krista says:

    I can’t get over the line up for the vatican! Wow! I so need to go to Italy…

  10. sue says:

    i got chills looking through your photos! isn’t the vatican amazing?! and st peter’s is beautiful. we didn’t climb to the top of the cupola because of the line. i had dressed up that day and worn my cute boots (big mistake!), but i wanted to wear a skirt and look pretty. the things we do for fashion :).

    one of my favorite memories with blake is eating our picnic lunch off the the side of st peter’s square and marveling at the beauty and watching all the people. thanks for reminding me how wonderful of a place it is!

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