The Vatican is among the most important historical sites in the world. The seat of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, The ... More
The Vatican is among the most important historical sites in the world. The seat of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, The Vatican is also the home of the Pope. As the smallest state in the world, the Vatican has figured in key events throughout history. Occupying approximately half a kilometer of Rome, the Vatican is significant because of its fabulous architecture, religious, and artistic treasures. It was Pope Julius II who commissioned Michelangelo to paint the history of creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel during the 16th century. Among countless other notable events in the history of this important city is the convening of the College of Cardinals, at the death of a reigning Pontiff, for the purposes of electing a new Pope.
I recently returned home from a visit to Italy of 14 days. I was in Rome for part of or all of 4 of those days. Each of those 4 days found me at St. Pter's. It is impossible to put into words of how beautiful St. Peter's is.
I was lucky enough to be there for the Wednesday general audience of Pope Benedict. It was an incredible feeling to see the Pope and the response he got from the crowds. I was also fortunate to climb up the cupola to see St. Peter's Square from the dome.
By all means, if you are in Rome please make time for St. Peter's. I cannot understand why this would rank 7th or 8th on the top sights to see in Rome.
These people are not kidding when they say there is a dress code - and rightly so, since the Basilica is one of Catholicism's holiest sites! I cannot tell you how many people--men and women--I saw being pulled out of line and told they cannot go in because they were wearing tank tops and/or shorts. People: the line is VERY VERY long and the "attire police" are at the very end of that long wait. Do not waste your time waiting in line to be told you are underdressed - please dress appropriately!
Go to St. Peter's Bascillica, it is massive and beutiful. Get a tour guide because you will miss a lot if you dont have one. For example the tallest part of the Cathedral could house the statue of liberty with 40 meters to spare.
All of Vatican City is a treat to see, there are two visits that many miss however, the first is the dome of Saint Peter's you must climb about three hundred stairs sort of sideways at times but it is so totally worth it. The sights inside and out are worth every second of the climb.
The second stop which most who are not local know not about is a small outdoor/indoor cafe called Vitorio's, ask Vatican workers for directions. It is just outside the great arm's of St Peter's square as you head toward the North American College
Arrived at 8:30 AM on a Monday. probably already 7-8 thousand people in line for Vatican and museum. St Peter's square and Basicilica was wounderful and beautiful. Trip up the winding stairs of copola was a little frightening and not for claustrophobics. But view of Rome from the top was spectacular.
My mistake is that I didn't bring my tripod with me, the pictures looks nice on my little 2 inch view finder on my camera but as soon as I download my pictures it's not that sharp. There will be lots of group tour coming in and it's kinda hard to get a good picture(without them walking in front of your camera), just wait in between two groups to take pictures.
There are so many things to do and sites to see with Vatican City that you need more than one day. The wait to enter St. Peter's is about 20 minutes on a good day. Entering the Museum complex can be a bit rricky if you take the wrong sidewalk but is also worth it. There is absolutely nothing like the Sistine Chapel. To be inside the Basilica is an awesome and awe-inspiring experience. I couldn't take it in all at once so I must return someday.
The Vatican was just amazing. There is no other words to say. To stand in this huge building with ceilings that just went up to the sky, you cannot imagine how people could have constructed it. And all the gold and wealth everywhere. Its incredible to see.
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