Our travels to Italy wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Rome. We started off at the Vatican. We drove in at night and all of the streets were deserted except for the Vatican police. We quickly found out hotel, but were very intimidated driving on the empty streets past such imposing structures and guards.
We had early tickets to see the Vatican museums. Travelers tip: Buy your Vatican museum tickets ahead of time! The lines to get in even with tickets were unreal! People without tickets purchased ahead of time had to wait in a long line and weren’t guaranteed entry. For me, it wasn’t worth the risk. I wanted to be sure I got to see the incredible artwork! Also, be aware that you will have to go through airport like security. Leave extra gear at home to expedite the process. It also says that women must not be in skirts. Mine covered my knees so they allowed me in, but be sure to plan ahead with what you wear.
Over the years the Vatican has amassed a great deal of artwork. Each room is themed towards a different time period and contains art from all over the world.
The view of Rome from the Vatican was breathtaking. It is so unlike anything that you get to see in the US. The whole town is steeped in such a rich and dramatic history.
I spent the majority of our visit looking up. Sometimes the ceilings were even more stunning than what was on the walls.
Before Italy became settled as the country that it is now, it was divided into states, ruled by major families as appointed by the Vatican. Careful maps were created and maintained
The highlight of our Vatican visit was that the Pope was home and speaking to the people outside of St. Peter’s Basilica! I was so touched that we had the opportunity to hear him speak. Check out our video to hear some of his speech (in Italian).