You could imagine after a half marathon, then a walk-a-thon in Rome, then a train to Pisa and a train to Florence and a train back to Rome, that we would be exhausted. We were. But, I had the Sistine Chapel on my list and we had to.
We left the hotel Wednesday morning to city center Rome where we would then decide if we should take the metro to Vatican City or walk.
Of course we walked 🙂
We ate, bought gelato, and got moving.
We went without a plan. We hadn’t pre-purchased tickets to see the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, or St. Peter’s Basilica. (I recommend doing this if you ever travel to Rome.) When we got there, we had no idea what was what. What we did know was that it. was. crowded. Apparently, tourism in Rome was nothing compared to tourism in Vatican City.
Trying to figure out where to go was tough. We couldn’t really find anyone or anywhere to ask for help and other tourists seemed just as lost and confused as us. There were a ton of people selling “speed tickets” or tickets to skip the lines and we tried asking where we could buy tickets the normal way but they were insistent on only giving us info for their pricey ones.
We finally realized that we were in front of St. Peter’s Basilica and that the line for that was approximately 2 hours and that the Sistine Chapel had a 4 hour wait. Separate lines for each.
We went with the Sistine Chapel and it took us 3 and a half hours.
The line wrapped around the wall that separates Vatican City to Rome. We were caught off guard at how long the line was but knew that this was the only item on our agenda for the day. We were going to do it.
I think we were so tired at this point that we didn’t even think to take a picture of the line, the crowd, or anything nearby lol. I did get this picture as we snailed along though.
After a few hours and sun burnt neck, we made it to the entrance. Yay!
See that empty space right in front of the entrance? Yeah, that space with no line? That’s for people who pre-paid in advance. Doh!
Once you’re inside:
It was in this area that I saw people taking bits of grass and leaves from bushes and taking it with them.
When we found another entrance, we began our walk towards the Sistine Chapel. You couldn’t go directly to it but had to walk pretty much the entire place before finally reaching it. I’d say it took us about an hour and a half including the stops we made to take pics and look around.
(Prepare for picture overload)
It was soon after this ^ room that we walked in to the Sistine Chapel. No pictures were allowed. There was a booming voice heard throughout mandating this. We still saw people pretend to not hear (and we might have let a finger slip on our own phones).
It was smaller than I pictured but still incredibly beautiful. I really wanted to see the famous Creation of Adam painting and it was easy to spot and very breathtaking. I couldn’t believe I was seeing it in person with my own eyes. You see it sometimes, in a book or on tv, but it was right there. Right there!
We hung out for a while and then made our way to the Sorti (exit).
We spent the rest of the day (it was evening at this point) doing some shopping. I couldn’t leave Italy without buying an Italian leather purse (yay!) and souvenirs for my family.
Our flight for Paris the next day wasn’t too early but we were pretty tired and decided to head back and get some rest.
But not before getting a last Italian gelato though 🙂
–Do you like art? I’m not a huge art aficionado but I love historical art like the Creation of Adam and The Last Supper (if we ever come back to Italy, Milan is on our list)
–Have you stood in a 4 hour line before?
Next and final stop: Paris, France!!