Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Honeymoon: Rome - Vatican City

On Monday, we woke up bright and early for our guided tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica.  We figured we'd just walk from our hotel over to the Vatican - which worked out well, once we started going in the right direction! (Your first indication you're in a REALLY old city - tiny, narrow winding streets and alleys - none of which appear on your map! This is a wee bit frustrating at 7 am!)

But first...I think this is the emptiest we ever saw the square.  Also, that was the earliest day we had in Rome!
St. Peter's in the distance

The Castel Sant'Angelo

Some of the gardens in the Vatican

One of the many lions! (Also from Egypt!)

One of the hallways featuring sculptures in the Vatican Museums.  Apparently the Vatican has so many artifacts, that if you looked at each item for one minute, it would take something like 10 years to see everything! (Also, this would be our last glimpse of an empty hallway for the rest of the day!)

Amazing frescoes in addition to the sculptures!

Another lion!

Each room that we walked through was as beautiful as the artwork!

A glimpse of some of the incredible crowds.  See that bath pouf on a stick? That was our guide's, we followed that all through the museums and St. Peter's! I've never seen crowds before like what we encountered at the Vatican, though.  Wall-to-wall people everywhere - at points, you couldn't even change direction, you were forced to go in the same direction as the crowd! I think without a guided tour, these museums would have been the most frustrating experience.

After we finished up with the museums, we headed into the Sistine Chapel. While I followed the rules and did not take any photos, I think Gene and I were some of the ONLY tourists not taking pictures in there! Also, considering the Chapel was packed wall-to-wall with people, it definitely was not as awe-inspiring a place as I'd imagined.

The side of St. Peter's

Looking up at St. Peter's facade

Inside St. Peter's 

One of the Swiss Guards! 

After our morning tours, we left St. Peter's to go grab some lunch.  Once we'd filled up on some authentic Italian pizza, we headed back to see more of St. Peter's and to tour the dome!

St. Peter's Square

You can never take too many self-portraits!

We had a gorgeous day!

On our way up to the Dome!

The views from up top are amazing!

The Vittorio Emmanuel II Monument

A view of the square

Hope you're not claustrophobic! Some of the photos I took on the way down of the really narrow stairs.  

After we finished touring the Dome, we headed back inside St. Peter's.  Every picture you see that looks like a painting inside the Basilica? Every single one is actually a fresco! They were amazing.

Looks like a painting!

Until you zoom in, and see each individual piece of glass!!

Pictures really can't capture the magnificence of the interior

The late afternoon sun was beautiful, streaming in the windows! The crowds has also significantly thinned out, meaning we had a much more pleasant experience!

A Roman cat!

Another view of the Castel Sant'Angelo (which we never toured)

We definitely earned our wine that day!

And I forgot to take a picture of our delicious dinner...until after! Trust me, it was great!

Some of the buildings on the Piazza Navone, at sunset

And of course, no day was complete without gelato!

Miss a honeymoon recap?
The Honeymoon: Paris - Getting There!
The Honeymoon: Paris - Our First Day
The Honeymoon: Paris - Day Two
The Honeymoon: Paris - The Louvre!
The Honeymoon: Au Revoir, Paris!
The Honeymoon: Buon Giorno, Rome!


  1. amazing!! I agree with you about the Sistene's amazing, but I didn't feel it was life changing and it was just so crowded. Climbing to the top of the Vatican was def. some of the best views I've ever see and a really neat experience..but wow I remember those narrow steps, yikes!! Looks like an awesome day :)