While in Rome, we spent a day in Vatican City. It was a short and cheap subway ride away from our hostel. Because our visit happened to fall on the last Sunday of the month, we got to visit both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel for free. As you can imagine, it was a sensory overload.
The crowds, especially on free days, can be pretty aggressive. One man tried to sneak his family towards the front of the line only to be quickly told off in about three different languages. Be prepared to guard your spot.
St. Peter’s Basilica
We spent one morning attending a mass at St. Peter’s. It was the typical Catholic mass but , once again , knowing you are in such an important and famous place completely renews the experience. The architecture was amazing though and definitely worth the three-hour wait and security check.
Vatican Museums & The Sistine Chapel
We started off at the Vatican Museums, which you have to walk through in order to see the chapel. To be honest, the trip was a few months ago and everything is a bit of a blur now. However, I do remember tons of sculptures and pieces of artwork, some of which I remember seeing in history books in school. There were also some impressive gardens that made the perfect picnic spot.
After walking through the Raphael Rooms, we finally made it to the Sistine Chapel. Pictures weren’t allowed so I don’t have any from inside. Looking back, I’m kind of glad I got to experience the chapel with my own eyes and not through a camera lens. We only had a few minutes to look around and I spent most of it with my head titled up at an awkward angle, trying to find the best view of Michaelangelo’s work and pick out scenes that looked familiar. Once again, I felt like I was becoming a part of the history I had read about so many times.
I said once before that my favorite thing about traveling was feeling distant places become as familiar as my backyard. My trip to Rome was filled with moments like this. Now, when I want to see the Sistine Chapel or the Trevi Fountain I need only to close my eyes and reminiscence. That’s one of the best feelings .
Or, I can relive my trip through Google. Goggle produces some pretty good feelings too.