St Peter's - Vatican City, Rome
I would highly reccommend you do a tour for these places. The convience alone is worth the extra money. You don't have to wait in long lines and once your in there you can always give the guide your headphones and walk around on your own. I personally thought the Roman Forum was the best. The information was amazing.
Fondest memory: I miss the food. It was homemade but so light in your stomach. Loved the Trevi fountain, spanish square.
remember that, if you arrive at the entrance of the Vatican Museums around 1.00 pm you will find no lines at all...usually :-)
Moreover, when you leave the Sistine Chapel it's quite better to choose the righ exit, in that way you can enter the Basilica without doing any line.
Whether you are a religious person or not, this is a place to visit!
Defnitely enjoy a tour guide - they make the experience better!
Take a souvenir home - will be one you cherish forever!
Breath taking & mind blowing - each & every time!
There are millions of people who would love to be in your shoes while you are in the Vatican, please remember this & cherish every moment!
There is a million people visiting the museum every day! The line is huge.
So buy your ticket in the internet, better at this site http://www.rome-museum.com/?gclid=CN7zkq-DyZ0CFRaRZgodniM3sw - it was a little bit more expensive, but helped a lot!!!
Here is a little more information on the Vatican museums and Sistine chapel. There are three tours offered by the Vatican. They are 1) the museum and Sistine chapel. 2) Vatican gardens. 3) the vatican museums and St. Peters basilica.
The museum and Sistine chapel tour takes 2 hours and passes through the Pio Clementino, the geographical maps and tapestries galleries, the Raphael's rooms and the Sistine Chapel. The tour includes entrance fee and headset. This tour costs 30 euros and can be booked in advance at the vatican website. The garden tour last 2 hours and takes you on a tour of the small independant state. It cost 30.00 euros and can be reserved in advance at the vatican website. After the tour you may enter the vatican museums with no additional cost. The vatican museums and st. Peter's basilica tour costs 35 euros and lasts 3 hours. It, too, can be reserved at the vatican website.
The website is:biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking&codiceLivelloVisita=4&step=1
Make sure to take your confirmation email with you to the museums and you will be allowed to bypass the line. You must wear proper attire to enter the museums, gardens and basilica. For both men and women, shoulders and knees must be covered.
What hasn’t been said about the Sistine Chapel? Mountains of words have been written about this cavernous room with Michelangelo’s frescoes covering every inch of the ceiling. Every scene he painted from the Book of Genesis (from 1508 to 1512), every detail of his vision of the Last Judgment, has been scrutinized under a microscope. The guidebooks are overflowing with analysis of the ceiling panels, the walls, the lunettes and the altar wall. Since the cleaning work that began in the 1980s, art historians have devoted endless discussion to whether the bright new color scheme has restored the paintings to their former glory or ruined them. As someone who visited in the early 1970s, and again in 2008, I personally couldn’t see a difference, but who am I to say. Anyway, back then, on my honeymoon, maybe I wasn’t paying so much attention.
So here is a tip that will allow you to get a better view of these glorious paintings, which invariably leave visitors with a crick in their neck: When you enter the room, don’t do what everybody else does, which is stand still in your tracks and stare up in amazement. Move to the rear! What I realized, as my feet (and neck) began to ache and I tried to find a place to sit on the benches that line the room, is that people tend to congregate in the first part of the hall. But if you keep going, through the carved partition that divides the room, not only are you getting away from the crowds, but you get a much better view (the Last Judgment is on the wall opposite you). You won’t even have to squeeze in to find a spot on the bench.
“Felicior Augusto, melior Traiano” (“More fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan”)
— the Senate’s prayer for any new emperor during the fourth century
Give your postcards a prayer of a chance. It has been said that postcards mailed through the Vatican Post Office reach their destination faster than those mailed through Rome’s postal system. This may be Italian urban legend. It cannot hurt to make a test!
While visiting Vatican City look for the yellow post boxes; some can be found within the gift shop of the Vatican Museums.
The post box in the accompanying photo is located outside the main entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, on the left-hand side as you face the church; it, too, is outside a gift/book shop.
A stop at the Vatican City Post Office (right by the museum) is a must for everybody. The post office is well known all over the world for the unique stamps they sell. The prices are decent (they are regular stamps after all), but the designs are breathtaking. Buy a book or two of stamps with the design that is most appealing to you (art, saints, museums, etc). They make a great and unique souvenir!
You can also check out the Savelli Vatican shop for unique gifts too: http://www.savellireligious.com/catholic_store/vatican_shop.htm
We walked straight in to the museum of Vatican, with no waiting. It was about 9.15 in the morning. Didn't have the ticket in advance. It was in the beginning of June this summer. Be prepaired to walk through the whole museum to get to the chapel, it takes about one hour even if you don't stop and look at all the marvellous paintings and statues on your way.
And don't go in the Vatican to get to the chapel, go straight to the museum (entrance outside the Vatican!) Afterwards go and see the church, there will be a long queue, but it goes fast.
Be careful! There are security guards in the Sistine chapel constantly telling people to keep the noise down and NO PHOTOS. If you turn you flash off and are very, very discreet, you should get some of the fantastic ceiling.
Favorite thing: One of the benefits of visiting the Sistine Chapel during the slow season, (Nov. - Mar.) is that they don't limit how long you can visit the Sistine Chapel. During the high season they generally limit groups to about 15 minutes at a time, whereas when I go during the slow season I have been able to spend as much time in the Chapel as I wish. I even am able to sit on the benches along the walls which I didn't even know where there when I visited during the summer as the crowds were too intense. It is a treat to be able to take in the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel on my own clock without being rushed. 15 minute intervals is not nearly enough time to take in such a work of art, so put some consideration to visiting during the winter months.
There are so many things I love about Rome but I have one problem with it, the timing. I was at the Vatican City in January 2005 and entered the Vatican Museum just after 10:00 am only to be told that closing time is 1.30pm. The Vatican Museum has many exhibitions plus the infamous Sistine Chapel with its magnificent fresco of the Last Judgement by Michelangelo. So how does one enjoy what's on offer with 3 hours to spare?
If you are the type to browse and appreciate the beautiful exhibitions, arrive as early as possible otherwise you will be disappointed when you are told to leave at closing time
Fondest memory: Vatican City is a sight to behold. Apart from the exhibitions, spiral staircase at Vatican Museum is a must try
I am a firm believer that it's all in the detail.
This photo is of a piece of the pavement in St Peter's Square (not sure why they call it a square though as it is round! haha).
I think this adds to the authenticity and historical significance of this place.
As I have said before, it is almost too much to take in, and for us 'happy-snappy' types an absolute paradise )
This would be one of most loved places and I entered the chapel feeling that the work was most likely over-rated until I got there. The ceiling is just amazing and when I found out a few facts about how it was done, even more amazing.
In 1508 Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the chapel and it took him until 1512 to complete. He had to paint the roof as he plastered it with damp plaster so had to work quickly before it dried!! Unfortunately the plaster grew mold as the plaster was too wet so he had to start again!! Over the centuries the ceiling got a bit grubby due to candle smoke, soot, and applications of poor quality varnish. The cleaning of the ceiling took place in the early 1980's and revealed the stunning colours you see today.
Photography is banned so my shot below is very low quality (flash off and taken from the hip). It is still a great reminder of the chapel (though I did buy a guide book with all of the paintings in it....).
I love the seemingly unlimited amount of art to be seen in Rome, especially that found at the Vatican museum and within St Peters. One of my favourite pieces is the Pietà by Michelangelo. It's a marble sculpture in St. Peter's. The statue was commissioned by the French cardinal Jean de Billheres, who was a representative in Rome. The statue was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. The statue depicts the body of Jesus in the arms of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The detail is great though Mary looks in rather too good nick for a mother with a 30 something son. Apparently Michelangelo told his biographer and fellow sculptor Ascanio Condivi that her youth symbolizes her incorruptible purity.
The statue has been the scene of a bit of controversy with its restoration in 1736 believed to have had too many liberties taken by the restorer, especially with the Pieta's left hand. In 1972, on Pentecost Sunday, Pieta was attacked by a man (stated as being mentally deranged) who shouted "I am Jesus Christ" as he hit the statue with a hammer. The Pieta was again restored and now sits behind an unbreakable glass panel near the Holy door.