Our first full day in Rome was full on.
To start – the weather is great, warm and sunny (about 26ish).
After breakfast we opted for the hop on/hop off bus trip. We usually do the whole circuit initially to orientate ourselves and then work out where we would like to explore. The bus trip took about 2.5 hours. After that finished we decided to walk to the Vatican. We had a tour booked for 2:00pm to see the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and then St Peter’s Basilica.
The walk to the Vatican was lovely and it only took about 45 minutes to get there so there was time to have a general look around. A quick lunch and then we needed to find where to meet the tour which was pretty easy. The skip the line stuff is great so we were in pretty quickly.
Once inside we opted to look around ourselves and it was great because there were some things that we were interested in and others we just couldn’t see because there were so many people in large tour groups or on people own being moved through in waves (it was quite claustrophobic actually).
Anyway it was amazing to see the paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and the maps. Walking in the gardens on the periphery of the Vatican was nice too. (Guess what? – the unthinkable happened at this stage. The battery on my camera ran out and I had forgotten to bring the spare one – gasp! horror! shock! Fortunately my phone was handy – these photos are not quite as good but some are OK – I won’t be making that mistake again 🙂 ).
Then it was on to the Sistine Chapel (no photos allowed here). Another crush but you were looking up so the view was not blocked. The artwork was striking and in some ways overpowering but it was well worth seeing.
We were then able to get into St Peter’s Basilica without having to line up to do so, which was great. This is an amazing Church (some photos below).
After about 3.5 hours we decided to walk back to the Hotel to freshen up and then off to have dinner. After dinner we walked around the streets and looked at teh street stalls and listened to musicans busking. All in all a great day.
Tomorrow we are off on a walking tour in the morning and then going back to explore some sites on the hop on/hop off bus route in the afternoon.
See you tomorrow. Wendy