No tour of Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican. That being said, it almost wasn’t worth the journey. Even on a Wednesday afternoon, the Vatican was easily the most touristy thing I have ever done. Throngs of worshippers, onlookers, salesmen, guides, and tourists flock to this smallest of countries.
I was most excited about the Sistine Chapel, but it was hard to enjoy while packed like sardines and at the mercy of guards begging for silence and speedy exits. No photo I could post would possibly capture the brilliance of Michelangelo’s work. A simple Google search brings up much better results than our Nikon.
One unexpected beauty was the Map Room in the Vatican Museum:
The museum’s cafeteria serves uninspired (nay, unholy) food that I do not recommend. Definitely eat before
your visit to the Vatican.
We scored a few of the famous Papal stamps from the Vatican post office, which we used to send post cards to some of our friends and family, and I found a lovely rosary for my grandmother, which I plan to give to her when we return to America.
St. Peter’s Basilica is of course the most famous sight in Vatican City, although we weren’t particularly excited about visiting. To say St. Peter’s is “big” is an understatement. I think the word grandiose was invented for this place. It somehow manages to strike a lovely balance of affluent and powerful, without the gaudiness of many over-embellished churches.
Just one wing of St Peter’s is much larger than the famous St Lous Cathedral in New Orleans. Below I make a poor attempt to capture some sense of its magnificance.