Yes, Vatican city is the smallest country in the world and is surrounded by Rome. There is a common misconception that Vatican is a part of Rome, which is not true. It is a headquarters for Roman Catholic church and is ruled by the Pope, who is also the king of the country. The population of this country is 1,000 people, who are working for the Pope.
I opted for a group tour to Vatican Museum and spent a day inside Vatican city. Here is what I experienced.
First of all, I was glad that I booked a group tour online in advance. Because when I reached Vatican, there was a mile long queue for getting entry tickets. Since it is the most famous destination, it attracts tourists from across the world. It stays this crowded at anytime of the year. So book your entrance tickets in advance.
After walking around 2 miles from my bus station to Vatican meusuem gate, and standing for 15 minutes in reserved tickets queue, finally entered into Vatican city meusuem.
All I see is the magnificent artwork in every corner of the meusuem. Here are some pictures that will convince you to put Vatican in your travel list:
The Belvedere Torso, one of the most famous work of Michaelangelo
Can you imagine the precision of an artist in that era? Can you imagine how they would have carved these stones? How did they painted Sistine chapel and it’s ceilings?
It is pure art.
It is not allowed to click pictures in the most famous and holy Sistine Chapel. But I can tell how awestruck I was to see the paintings on its walls, they were still intact and alive. The entire aura of being inside Sistine chapel is divine. I found myself at peace when I was inside it and completely awestruck with the magnificent art.
I cannot show you the paintings of Sistine chapel, but I can show you the paintings of other ceilings that were remarkably beautiful.
There were walls displaying handmade tapestries and ancient maps of world. There were galleries showing thousands of sculptures, furniture, and remains of old utensils.
I was told that the artwork on display is just 20% of total artwork. Remaining is stored in a warehouse. I wonder what it would be like to see all the artwork. It must take few weeks to explore each of them.
Apart from meuseum, there is Saint peters basalica. Its entry is free and there was again a very long queue to enter the basalica.
Completely awestruck and mesmerized by the beauty of this country, I left by evening to go back to my hostel.
My key suggestions are,
- Start your day early.
- Book your entrance tickets in advance. Entry to Saint peters basalica is free.
- Guided group tour is highly recommended.
- Be ready to walk alot. Take a water bottle with you. Keep hydrated.
- Food inside the meusuem is expensive and not much varieties. Instead pack your sandwich and keep in bagpack.
- Do not take pictures where it is not allowed. Respect Chapel rules.
- You can reach Vatican city by bus or a cab if you are in Rome.
Don’t wait, plan a trip to Vatican City now. Art lover or not, you are going to love it.