[Again, I took a ton of photos. Only the best are on the blog. If you want to see the rest, please go HERE.]
We woke up bright and early for our Vatican City tour. We chose the Pristine Sistine - The Chapel at its Best tour through Walks of Italy. We had to meet by 7:30am. It was a bit of a walk to get there, so we had to leave before 7am. We stopped by a Pasticeria to get a quick breakfast and then we were on our way.
When we arrived, we were herded into a group (there were 3 groups leaving that morning). We had 10 people in our group (remember, there is a maximum of 12). We walked up to the Vatican and got in line. At first I was disappointed. There were already tons of people in line. We got to get in an hour early because we were with a tour group, but so did every other tour group there. I was a bit miffed at the misleading description on the tour website.
However, when we got inside, we immediately got our headphones and went straight to the Sistine Chapel. We skipped over a ton of stuff to get there before everyone else. When we arrived at the Sistine Chapel, we were the only group inside. We sat down on benches and our tour guide told us everything about the chapel. How it was painted, when it was, how long it took, etc, and a ton of other info on Popes and Michelangelo. We probably spent almost an hour in there.
This was a big deal for me. The last time I saw the Sistine Chapel, we were allowed only a few minutes inside. It was REALLY crowded and the guards wouldn't let us talk. So, this time, I actually enjoyed the Sistine Chapel (sorry, no photos allowed).
When we finished there, we walked through the rest of Vatican City. There is so much to see! The guide told us that if we spent just one minute looking at every item inside, we'd spend over 12 years straight inside! Phew! That's a lot of stuff. So, obviously we didn't see everything or spend a ton of time looking at stuff (besides the chapel).
However, we did see a lot. Here's a peek:
One of my favorite items (besides the chapel) was Michelangelo's Pieta. It's beautifully done (just as everything Michelangelo did is!).
Look at all the detail! Can you imagine carving this from a block of stone?? It's absolutely amazing! They say that when Michelangelo finished, there was lots of talk about who had done work and rumors flew. Well, Michelangelo wanted credit for it, so he snuck into St. Peter's Basilica several nights in a row to carve his name into Mary's sash. He was in such a hurry that he actually spelled his name wrong the first time and had to correct it!
|Michelangelo's name on the Pieta.|
Soon after, we finished up our tour. Then we stopped at the Vatican City Post Office to buy stamps to send out our postcards.
|Philip was super thrilled about it. lol|
Then we went on a short journey to find a Vatican City shot glass (Philip thought it would be amusing). We eventually found one and then it was time to go back to exploring Roma!