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…