A Taste of Italy: Part 3 – Roma Day 2

Posted: 6 July 2015 in Travel
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Basilica di San Pietro

Basilica di San Pietro

Day 7

Cortile della Pigna

Cortile della Pigna

For the second to last day of our trip, we devoted the day to the Musei Vaticani. A word to the wise, go early and don’t expect to do anything else with your day. We got there not too late, definitely before noon, and the queue to the museum already stretched well around the Vatican. We waited in the queue for at least 3 hours, which got pretty hot once noon came around.

Here are a couple tips when dealing with the Vatican Museum. Bring snacks. You could be waiting in line for many hours and then more hours actually inside the museum. Yes you can buy food there, but from my experience, the food is typically very overpriced and not that great. Also, you will see many people walking around trying to sell you tours of the museum promising quicker access into the building. I wouldn’t recommend it. These too are vastly overpriced. A ticket costs €16 to get into the museum and some of the ‘tours’ I saw were double or triple that amount. Are you really that impatient to get in there? I get that waiting in line for hours sucks, but plan ahead and it won’t be that bad. Or better yet, buy your tickets online beforehand. Problem solved.

Museo Vaticani Map

Musei Vaticani Map

One thing I really enjoyed about the museum was that the route was already laid out. You just had to follow it. Since we were there just the one day, we decided to work through the entire thing. It took around three hours in total. And that was looking at everything while still going at a decent pace. If you are anything like me (where you need to see everything or else it will drive you crazy), then this be a nice challenge. As you can see with the picture to the right, you have a couple options available. It’s almost like a maze, but with no dead ends. Some people are there simply to see the Sistine Chapel. If that’s all you want to see, you will be done a lot quicker. But I suggest looking at least some of the museum. I mean, you did pay for it. And personally, I think it is worth it.

The museum is filled with so many amazing artefacts! I am a huge fan of mythology and this place was filled with items referencing the Gods of Roman history. It did sort of surprise me that the Musei Vaticani would contain such relics, but at the same time it was refreshing. Rome would not be the cultural and religious centre that it is today without its past and to

Statua Laooconte

Statua Laooconte

disregard it would be disrespectful. It’s hard not to feel twinges of jealousy for coming from a country infinitely younger. As I walked the hallways, I could not help but marvel at the beauty of these historical reminders. To have such a rich heritage and to have maintained such importance for centuries is incredible. It almost felt like I was walking through a temple.

Here’s where I have to make a confession. I would guess that at least 90% of the visitors of the Musei Vaticani are there to see the famous ceiling painting Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. It is a very impressive piece of work, at least that’s what I’d like to say. I didn’t even notice it when we got to the Sistine Chapel. I wish I could blame it on exhaustion from standing in the sun for hours, walking around the museum for more hours, not having had anything to eat, but in all reality I think I just forgot that it was even there. I know it’s not a good excuse, but it’s all I got. If it’s any consolation, at least I broke the rules and got a picture of it. Photography is not allowed in the chapel, but it’s not like this is the

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's Creation of Man

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s Creation of Man

first time I broke that rule this trip. It also means that I at least got a glance at it even if I didn’t realise what I was looking at. Anyway. John brought the painting to my attention after we exited the room and I couldn’t believe I missed it. I tried to get back in, but they have a guard posted to not let people get in through the back. I was totally gutted. Like so many places, it just means I have to go back again one day.

By the time we got through the museum, we were beyond exhausted. I wanted to go through the basilica since we were already there, but John was done. Not that I can blame him. He had been walking near nonstop for a week longer than myself and I still had the whole next day to explore. So we headed back toward the hostel and the lovely chinese restaurant we’d been to the day prior.

Colosseo at night

Colosseo at night

To mark our last night, we once again roamed the streets of Rome to see more sites at night. On this night, we opted to check out the colosseum. To make this nighttime adventure more perfect, we also got gelato. The lady at the shop we got it at was very generous to us when John didn’t have enough cash. She let him have his bottled water for free. Such a wonderful woman.

Honestly, there is something majestic about seeing beautiful edifices illuminated in luminous, fluorescent lighting. It gives them an otherworldy aura incomparable with regular daylight. I cannot stress enough how much dear reader you should do this. You may be tired from your daily galavanting, but rest up a bit and then take a leisurely stroll in the lamp-lit darkness. It is peaceful and beautiful. Just do it 😉

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Comments
  1. Great blog. Epic beauty, one rolling after the other. Thank you.

    Like

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