It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and I’m day dreaming about travelling. I’m just looking through my holiday pictures from last years trip to Rome… What a beautiful city! I could see myself living in Rome – especially if I ever find the time to learn Italian.
Being in Rome as a turist can be a little stressful because there is so many things to see and places to go. I have been to Rome a few times now and have found my favorite places to hang out, take pictures and just revel in being a turist. For me these places are the essense of turist Rome. I will just share my top 5 with you – one blog post at a time… They are all places you should go see but I have ordered them so that I will write about my favorite place in Rome last and number five first.
My fifth favorite place in Rome is… the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s square.
I could use endless hours in the Vatican looking at art from the different ages – some religious art, some not so religious. The range of different styles of art is amazing and it’s coming from all corners of the catholic World as paintings, sculptures and even furniture. St. Peter’s square is just around the corner from the Vatican Museums and it is a must-see. The number of people coming to this place every day is enough reason to come here too, but also just to feel the historic presence standing in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. I have only been inside the Basilica once and for me it is not worth the long line and the security checkpoint – I much prefer the square in front and the museums.
For at day at the Vatican Museums I have a few pointers coming from my own experience:
A day in the Vatican Museum is hard – you should make sure that you have saved up strenght, that you wear sensible shoes and that you conserve your energy before going (and bring food and water). If you buy tickets in advance online, you can skip the usual VERY LONG line, so consider it. We didn’t buy tickets in advance last fall and had to stand in line for more than an hour outside in the rain. We also walked half way across the city center to come to the Vatican – I can recommend taking a bus or a taxi, so you have more steps left in you when you get to the museum – though it is an impressive walk over the bridge and up to St. Peter’s square.
Once you are inside the Museums, take your time. I see a lot of people just following the crowd the long way to the Sixtine Chapel without taking the time to see the amazing art on the way there. The tour through the museum can feel like standing/walking in line for 30 minutes if you just follow the crowd. Take some time in the central yard to plan your trip through the museum and make sure you see the pieces that you really want to. I prefer egyptian, roman and greek art a couple of thousand years old and there is plenty to see.
Oh – and consider bringing lunch because the food inside the Vatican museums can be expensive and bad. I tried a pizza slice and it was mostly just dough – not enough toppings to cover the whole slice. I don’t know what alternatives that are inside the museums but I can advise you to stay away from the pizza.
And make sure to take in the architecture – one of my favorite photos from our trip to the Vatican Museums last year is the stairs at the exit.
I think that is all the advice I have about the Vatican Museums. If you have more, I would love to read about it in the comment section.