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Day 2 in Rome

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The Vaticin entry

Well we had to get up pretty early so we could leave the hotel by 7:20am. Today we were headed to the Vatican Museum to see the Sistine Chaple. 

First a word of warning. Do not try to get into the Vatican Museum with out some sort of a guide/tour. You could be waiting all day and still never get in. There are two lines. The one to the right of the door is for guided tours (which we were in) the one to the left of the door are for those with out a guided tour. Well when we first arrived both lines were already so long it was unbelievable. We kept walking and walking and walking until we finally found the end of the line.  At 8am the doors open. However all tours are allowed in first. So our line actually went pretty quickly once the doors opened.

One of the boards that explains the Sistine Chapel
People who are there with out a tour are not even considered until around 10am.  And that line was even longer than our line. So I know the people had to of lined up really early in the morning. And even after we came out a few hours later the line was still wrapped all the way around for the hope of getting in. And tours keep coming through out the day and they still get priority.

But we got in and the tour guide went and purchased tickets for all of us. The statues you see are amazing. You almost have to remind yourself that these are the real thing they are not replicas and how old they actually are.  There is one room that is just lined top to bottom with the many findings. We were able to view Michelangelo's Last Judgment and the Genesis. It's amazing that people had such talent, but not only that but they were able to make such great peices that long ago with little tools like we have now.

We were able to go through the Tapestry Gallery and see the handmade tapestries they were huge. They went from floor to ceiling. And to know all of it was done by hand. We soon came to the Sistine Chaple.  There is no talking no picture taking no video no food pretty much nothing. When you walk in there are guards that stand in the front and continually yell SHHHHHHH and then sometimes will yell no talking in many languages. Prior to entering the Chapel our tour guide showed us the different things to look for and the meaning in everything since she wouldn't be able to show us once we entered.  There are a few different spots where they have boards posted with a miniture picture of the paintings that the tour guides can point at and give you more of the history of it which was quite nice.

One of the many many painted ceilings in the Vaticin Museum
A lot of the information you wouldn't know just as a tourist coming to view it.

They have seats along the wall that you can sit at (if you are lucky enough to find an open spot) and just take it all in. There are a ton of people in there at one time. 

We then exited the Chapel and went through the area that once was the Vatican Library. Their shelves that hold the books are nothing like my local library! They were beautiful and so intricate with art details. We were also able to see some of the past tools and bricks used to seal up the door that is only open every 25 years. That was interesting to see.

From start to finish I think it was amazing to see. You always had something to look at from top to bottom. The paintings on the ceiling the hand made pictures into the floor.

many were made from broken glass or stone or tile. They were unreal and to have been done by hand is astounding.

So I highly recommend going at least once. But be sure to book some sort of a tour to go with or you may never get in!

After we left the group was to go back to the hotel. But us girls didn't want to waste an entire day sitting at the hotel. It was only around 11:30am. We had a dinner at night around 5 so we had a few hours to kill. We decided we would walk around Rome a bit and try finding our way back to the hotel. Well we all know how well I did trying to find Lake Como!!! I ended up in Switzerland haha. I actually did much better in Rome.

We took a bus to "The fountain of four rivers" however it was all boarded up and you couldn't see it because they were doing construction on it.

This is one of the many pieces of art made out of tile that is on the floor as you walk through.
That was another thing I found in Italy a lot of the things you wanted to see were either fully blocked or partially block for repair. Which I guess you should expect seeing how old most of the stuff is. So we were a little disappointed. We walked a little ways and arrived at The Pentheon. Which was lovely inside. For some reason I was expecting something more though. I am not sure why, but I was able to see why it wasn't part of our tour highlights. It is still amazing to say you have been there though. And there is a pretty fountain outside of it. And seeing that we were getting hungry and my one friend had an obsession with finding a Mc Donald's anywhere she visits we had to eat at the Mc Donald's accross the street from The Pentheon. She was so excited. But let me tell you that Mc Donald's in Italy is much much slower than the states.
Some of the old tools and brick used in the past years when the door was closed up
It was lunch time which is normally a big rush hour and they had 1 person on the register and like three standing around doing nothing. We were in line forever. In the states you are in line tops 2 mins. And even then you hear someone yelling at the workers. Well finally after about 8 mins in line another person reluctantly came up and opened another register. But my friend was still all happy she ate at Mc Donald's in Italy so it was worth it to see her all giddy. 

We tried going into some of the museums however it was a Monday and most touristy places are closed on Mondays which kind of stunk. So we just wondered just to see what was out there. Soon we had to head back so we would have a little time before we left for dinner. We had to take two buses to get back and I got us back with no problems! And the other girls were quite shocked because they had no clue where to get off at when we reached our hotel.

There is a little church down the road from our hotel where the bus lets us off. Some how none of them remembered this little church and started second guessing me. I was like this one I know is right. And look at that I was!

So we went and freshened up for dinner then met back up with the tour for our last dinner together.  We first drove through Alban Hills to the Pope's summer home where he had delivered the Sunday Sermon, Castel Gandolfo. Some say that they saw the Pope while we were there. I am not sure. A black car arrived and pulled into his summer home. Some guys got out and then another person whom they were blocking got out along with some clergy. From my angle I was not able to see the person they were blocking at all. However others claim they were able to see him and that it was indeed the Pope.

One of the Library "shelves"
  One thing my friends and I found quite funny is that next to the summer home is a bar and a vino shop. Haha. I guess even he needs a drink sometimes. The town was kind of small but so charming and pretty. You had great views of the lake on one side the sea on the other. It just looked like picturesque Italy. After a few hours of walking around the town we met back together and got back on the bus and headed to Frascati where we would have dinner.

Dinner was ok. Our group was much smaller now. There were two optional tour extensions for additional days (which my friend and I didn't know about until the day before so we never had the option to stay longer with the extra extension).

The stair/ramp you walk down to leave the Vatician Museum
But anyone who did one of the two extensions had already left our group and headed to another city to start that tour. So there was only about 20 of us left. The food was ok and the entertainment was ok. I think out of all the dinners this was the least favorite of all of them and not worth my $50. But the stop at the Pope's summer home was worth it.

After eating we left and went back to the hotel. Since this was the last night the four of us girls were together and the tour was now over we decided we were going to go to a local bar and have some drinks. Well our tour director and bus driver decided they would join us. Well what was to be a drink or two and maybe an hour or so turned in to many many many bottels of wine and champaign. And many many hours later!

We had a great night though.

The Pentheon
We had so much fun. First the tour was over so the director and driver were no longer in work mode so we got to know them as real people and their real life outside of tours and second we knew we had to make the most of our last night all together.

It was kind of funny we were in this Italian bar/restaurant but the music that was playing was old Jazz. Much of it that originated from Chicago where I am from. The walls had pictures hanging of the many celebraties that had eaten in the restaurant through the years as well. It was a neat place.

And boy did we. I think we finally headed to bed about 3-4am. It was a very very long day. But one of the most memorable.

AME079 says:
Thanks, Wow Jeremy you know people in high places!! Haha If there is anyway to swing a tour after hours that would be amazing! It's so crowded during the day you basically have to keep walking the entire time and are not allowed to just stand and admire.
Posted on: Oct 18, 2008
paul_gr says:
Great Italy blog. I spent four days in Rome this past summer and loved it! I plan to visit again next summer.
Posted on: Oct 17, 2008
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The Vaticin entry
The Vaticin entry
One of the boards that explains th…
One of the boards that explains t…
One of the many many painted ceili…
One of the many many painted ceil…
This is one of the many pieces of …
This is one of the many pieces of…
Some of the old tools and brick us…
Some of the old tools and brick u…
One of the Library shelves
One of the Library "shelves"
The stair/ramp you walk down to le…
The stair/ramp you walk down to l…
The Pentheon
The Pentheon
And the Mc Donalds
And the Mc Donald's
Further down is where you would ha…
Further down is where you would h…
Outside the Popes summer home.
Outside the Pope's summer home.
The worlds first mailbox
The world's first mailbox
By the Popes house looking at the…
By the Pope's house looking at th…
841 km (523 miles) traveled
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photo by: vulindlela