When in Rome, smoke, drink, cut in line, talk, and take pictures (when doing so is prohibited)
Rome Travel Blog› entry 11 of 11 › view all entries
This morningâ€™s wake up call came at 5:45amâ€”much too early for a vacation day. But, as our friend Mike says, â€śYou can sleep when youâ€™re deadâ€ť. So, we got up and had breakfast in time for our 7am pick up for the Vatican Museums tour. We opted for a guided tour in lieu of waiting in line with the general public/plebes. Like the staff at the airport, this tour company wasnâ€™t the most efficient. But, once we got started with the tour, everything went well. Our guide was informative and friendly.
Aside from the rude people, the Sistine Chapel has been the highlight of the trip to
Upon leaving the museum and chapel, we headed for lunch and then to St. Peterâ€™s Basilica. The line to enter the basilica was a short 5 minute wait but that didnâ€™t stop people from cutting in line. Weâ€™re not exaggeratingâ€”people literally walked through the line of hundreds of people directly up to the front. We were amazed. Betina made a comment to one woman who then looked at me as if she had no idea what she was sayingâ€”and she probably didnâ€™t. We later heard her talking to her husband in German. Her big rush? She had gone through the line once and after reaching the front, the guards would not let her in with bare shoulders so she had to leave to buy a shawl, sold by vendors at the entrance.
Before touring the Basilica itself, we walked through the catacombs to view the Papal Burials, the highlight of which was Pope John Paul II and St. Peterâ€™s. Photography in the underground is prohibited but that did not stop rude people from taking pictures, or pushing others out of the way, or talkingâ€¦ this is the final resting ground for Catholic leaders with tourists treating it, once again, like
Photos are allowed in the Basilica, although we didnâ€™t take many. It simply is too beautiful and we had no idea where to start (plus, rude people get in your shot or push you out their way). Upon entering the church, to the right is Michaelangeloâ€™s Pieta. The basilica gets even more impressive as you walk through the rest of the church. Itâ€™s ornate but tasteful, which kind of surprised us. We were expecting something ostentatious. We left the
There is a metro stop just a few blocks from the basilica so we caught the red line and headed back to our hotel for a much needed shower and to embrace the European custom of â€śsiestaâ€ť.
Weâ€™ve had a great day and are now contemplating now how to spend the evening.