When you visit Italy, especially Rome, you have to keep a day aside just to visit Vatican City. The center of faith for billions of people, Vatican City is also the smallest sovereign country in the world. It is also the only country which is located completely inside the capital of another country. This home of the Pope is visited by over 5 million people every year.
Being such a busy attraction, it also means that the lines are longer just to enter Vatican City. It is definitely not easy, though. Sometimes the lines are over a kilometer long. What to do in that case? How can you see the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica & the masterpieces of Michelangelo? It is easier than you might think.
Enter The Roman Guy
We contacted The Roman Guy & enrolled into Express Vatican Tour with Skip the Line Tickets. It sounds exactly that. With that tour, we entered Vatican City an hour earlier before it was open to the general public. Our guide from The Roman Guy met us outside the entrance & she guided us through the entry. Even with a little bit of crowd, we entered the Vatican City like a breeze.
Francesca, our guide was so thorough with the whole history of Vatican City, Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums. Francesca started the tour by telling us about the basic history of Vatican City & Christianity in general. We started with Vatican Museums. I was simply in the awe of the entire premises.
We entered the gallery of the Candelabra & observed the gallery of the tapestries as well. Both the galleries were simply outstanding in terms of the art it offered. It gets a little uncomfortable with the crowd & heat though. Francesca explained many artifacts in details & it made us realize the importance of having an experienced guide at such a significant historical site.
My favorite, though, was the gallery of maps! I mean, what an incredible collection of hand drawn maps it has. I wonder how they made it without GPS, without Satellites. The accuracy of maps was definitely quite high. While walking through these galleries, observing the paintings, maps & artifacts, Francesca prepared us for Sistine Chapel, one of the greatest marvels of the world!
Sistine Chapel – The Gem of Vatican City
As soon as we entered the Sistine Chapel, it felt like we entered the time of Michelangelo. Truly, the masterpiece of the artist can’t be described in words. For a few minutes, you will go silent. The intricacy, the subtle messages, and of course, the jokes that are hidden inside the painting, can be revealed by someone who knows in & out of Vatican City. In our case, we had Francesca. Nobody is allowed to talk inside the Sistine Chapel. You must enjoy the beauty in silence. It is not allowed to take pictures or videos inside as well.
Again, I am stressing on the fact you should get a well-informed guide when you are taking a tour around Vatican City because it is an incomplete visit if you don’t get to know the history & the story behind all things beautiful.
St. Peter’s Basilica – The Center of Faith
After observing the masterpiece of Michelangelo, we headed out & started walking towards St. Peter’s Basilica. Honestly, we had been to a lot of churches in Europe & they all started to look the same. St. Peter’s Basilica is the most important church for Christians across the world. It is the center of faith. Like we had imagined, it was completely different from every other church.
St. Peter’s Basilica has so many masterpieces of famous artists like Bernini, Michelangelo etc. It is huge, it is beautiful & it is intriguing. Francesca gave us a lot of information about the sculptures, tombs, the dome, the ceiling & many other facets of Christianity.
Our tour ended outside St. Peter’s Basilica. Francesca offered some more information on Vatican City. After roaming around the ‘country’ for some time, we got out & landed back in Rome. After seeing the huge queue outside at 11:00 AM, we were so glad that we took this amazing tour with Francesca & The Roman Guy.
Pictures: Awara Diaries
Interested in booking the Vatican City tour with The Roman Guy? Check out their website here!
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