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