When anyone sets out to visit Rome, you just know you have to visit the Vatican. Steeped in history and religious and artistic significance, it has been the home of the Pope since the fourteenth century. The Vatican Museums, which make up a huge part of the Vatican State, recently calculated over five million visitors a year.
What strikes you first, is just how high the walls are. It seems an urban version of The Wall in Game of Thrones. And just how far the queues stretch. Before you even get inside you are politely accosted by tour guides who try and convince you to use their expensive services. If you’ve already paid for you ticket online beforehand, you will most likely want to decline and prefer walking at your own pace or getting an audio guide.
Once inside, you will notice just how spacious it seems. Indeed, despite being around 110 acres (no “only” when you are walking, of course), the Vatican State is its own independent state. On such a gorgeous day, it really is wonderful just to sit down and enjoy the view.
The artwork is so striking. There are countless paintings and sculptures as you wander through every room. You feel as though you are living the scenes and stories of the Bible, as well as it’s role in the city. I have selected my favourite images but you will be spoilt for choice.
And the artwork is not just in front of you, but above you. Appropriate, because the highlight of the whole place is the Sistine Chapel. You aren’t allowed to take photographs in the Chapel, and silence is ordered for such a reverential part of the Vatican.
Looking outside the windows, you are reminded of the beauty in the exterior too. If you get the chance to go to Rome, you cannot not go.