When visiting Rome, one of the places that everyone should take the time to see is the Vatican City. We highly recommend getting a tour guide when seeing Vatican City as there is so much to see and learn. We only had about five hours during our visit, which was barely enough time to see the main sights. Our tour started with the Vatican Museums, followed by the Sistine Chapel, and then St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square.
The Vatican Museums are a collection of galleries and contain a wealth of artwork, too much to see in a single visit. Just like visiting a museum like the Louvre in Paris, you have to choose what is important to you and make your way to those exhibits. We focused on the many famous statues and will have to find time to return at another time to see all of the famous paintings contained within the complex. Of course, no visit to the museums is complete without going to the Sistine Chapel, which concludes the tour of the museums. We were fortunate to be able to spend as much time as we liked in the Sistine Chapel as most of the time people are limited to just fifteen minutes to absorb the beauty of the artwork on the ceiling as well as the walls. Obviously we don’t have any photos from within the chapel as photography is not allowed, but seeing the paintings of Michelangelo was definitely a highlight of our time in Vatican City.
Saint Peter’s Basilica is an overwhelming sight to see. Equally amazing is that all of what appear to be paintings are actually tile mosaics. The detail and beauty of each piece is exquisite. Walking through the basilica and gazing at the statues, which are all uniform in proportion and size, is an awe inspiring experience. Leaving the basilica, you enter Saint Peter’s Square and take in the beauty of its design. If you stand at just the right spot, each series of columns combine as if they were each just one column.
We were grateful to have the opportunity to visit Vatican City while we were in Rome. The history, architecture, and artwork make this one of the most special places in the world to see.