A Walk Down Memory Lane in Vatican City

A Walk Down Memory Lane in Vatican City

 

Rome was a 36-hour whirlwind of jam-packed tours and sightseeing with barely a moment to breathe. Although it wasn’t love at first sight between me and Rome, I admitted that I definitely want to give our courtship a second chance at some point in the future.As most Roman vacationers are wont to do, we spent the first half of our only full day in Rome in Vatican City, the tiny city-state that is its own country, doing what it is that travelers do when in the Vatican – why, conquering the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica of course! But “conquering” is an exaggeration. With the limited time we had, we barely scratched the surface. I mean, the Vatican Museums alone house 54 galleries with over 9 miles of artwork! Certainly more than anyone can digest in one day.

Unfortunately, our morning visit to Vatican City was a day too late for the pope’s Papal Audience which is held each Wednesday morning. So we opted for an early morning tour of the Vatican Museums in an effort to beat the crowds, but the fact is that we only got a head start; the crowds in Vatican City are always looming.

Like Rome itself, Vatican City was a blur. A blur of the Vatican Museums’ long, art-filled hallways; a sea of crowds; a long pause to reflect on the wonder that is the Sistine Chapel and Michaelangelo’s insane artistic genius; moments to gawk at the columns of St. Peter’s Basilica (they sure don’t build things like they used to!), and feeling rather overwhelmed by it all. With the exception of the stories our guide shared about Michaelangelo who I found fascinating, all other details were lost on me. Although I’m glad we got to visit the world’s smallest country, our time there was an information overload to say the least.

Exactly what we saw and what we did? If I was relying on my memory alone, I couldn’t tell you much. Thankfully, pictures are worth a thousand words…

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Ceilings in the halls of the Vatican Museums
Ceilings in the halls of the Vatican Museums

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Headed to the Sistine Chapel - no photos allowed inside
Headed to the Sistine Chapel – no photos allowed inside
After marveling at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, our guide had us step outside to explain the meaning behind some of the paintings on the ceiling. This was my favorite part of the tour because it made me realize what a genius Michaelangelo was!
After marveling at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, our guide had us step outside to explain the meaning behind some of the paintings on the ceiling. This was my favorite part of the tour because it made me realize what a genius Michaelangelo was!

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The dome of St. Peter's Basilica
The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica
Outside of St. Peter's Basilica
Outside of St. Peter’s Basilica

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Look at these columns!!
Look at these columns!!
The ceiling inside St. Peter's Basilica
The ceiling inside St. Peter’s Basilica

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Somehow, Jave hustled his way to the very front of the crowd to get a closeup of the Pietà
Somehow, Jave hustled his way to the very front of the crowd to get a closeup of the Pietà

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PINNABLE

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Have you ever visited someplace that completely overwhelmed you?

  • Yes, Vatican City certainly overwhelms its visitors! This post brought a wave of nostalgia over me. I also wasn’t overly taken by Rome (nor Paris for that matter!), but I definitely want to give them both a second chance. We stayed four days in Rome and barely scratched the surface. Ah, well, as Rick Steves says, you’ve always got to tell yourself that you’ll be back again – or else the anxiety of “missing out” on sites would be too unbearable!

    • Dana Carmel

      I saw on one of your IG posts that you weren’t really feeling Paris. Really?! I get it though…that’s how I felt about Budapest. And Rick Steves is definitely on point!

  • I know what you mean, the visits to Rome and Vatican City can be a blur as it seems we are over stimulated with so many paintings and art work. Plus the crowds. I’ve been to Rome and Vatican City twice, but I have hopes to really fall in love with the place on my third visit, which I hope to schedule during a time with less tourists around – if that’s even possible!

    Great pictures!!!

    • Dana Carmel

      Maybe you should go in the winter…maybe there’ll be less tourists then? Third time’s a charm (hopefully)! 😉

  • The pictures are beautiful! Is the whole country like that..glorious buildings and murals left right and centre? The Vatican looks like it has no room for plain buildings.

    • Dana Carmel

      From what I saw, yes, the whole country is like that! Plain-Jane buildings not allowed! 😉

  • Lovely images! The Vatican can be overwhelming for sure..but Rome does deserve a second chance.. I sometimes need to take a breather too, but mostly from the talkative family.. 🙂 . I usually just decide to sit out a visit with cousins etc to decompress. My neighbor’s house is on Woodrow Wilson. If you come up Cahuenga and take the slight left onto Woodrow, and just go up, you can’t miss it. It’s kind of big and colorful. Look at the house on top of the little mountain by itself, and that was my old house. I sometimes regret selling that place !

    • Dana Carmel

      Oooh…thanks for the directions!

thatgirlcarmel

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