Vatican City

May 08, 2016

We all know that the Vatican, being the smallest country in the world, is an entirely different state separate from Italy.  However, since it is geographically located within the boundaries of the city of Rome -- a country within a city, as they say -- tourists have always made it a point to include this place in their itinerary whenever they visit Italy's capital city.  Hence, I guess it's just technically right for me to say that apart from the Colosseum, the Vatican City is yet another tourist attraction you shouldn't dare miss when in Rome!

As the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, where pilgrims and tourists flock, we had already anticipated that this attraction can get really cramped, so we decided to come and visit the place as early as 8am to avoid the crowd.  Unfortunately, there was an ongoing Jubilee celebration at the St. Peter's Square and the Basilica won't be open to the public until 1 o'clock in the afternoon.  

Since we didn't have the luxury of time to wait there that long, we just opted to see the Vatican Museum and come back the following day for a tour of the St. Peter's Basilica.  It was such a hassle, if I may say, but the best thing about it was we were able to see Pope Francis in person (though only from afar, making him look tinier than my pinkie little finger) for he happened to be officiating a concelebrated mass which was being attended by a fairly large number of devotees.


The Vatican Museum, where the famous Sistine Chapel can be found, is a certified box office hit among tourists.  One of the websites I've seen during my research (prior to this trip) even described the queue to its entrance as "legendary," which to me sounded like a horror story.  Hence, we made it a point to book our "skip the line" tickets in advance through their official website.  

Although our skip the line passes were a bit more expensive than the regular tickets, I must say that buying it was still the BEST decision we've ever made -- I have seen the long queue of tourists waiting in line outside the museum's ticketing office and indeed, it was legendary!  I just cannot imagine wasting our time with an impatient toddler on that line.  Thank goodness our pre purchased tickets entitled us to access their express lane, which basically didn't require us to fall in line at all.  So yeah, online reservations rock!  

***For more photos, stories, and tips about our adventures in Europe, you may check the following blog posts: 

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