St Peter's - Vatican City, Rome
When you go to visit Vatican City be sure to go there early. We went at around 9:30 and didn't have to wait that long to get in. We went up the cathedral and when we came down there was a huge waiting line, it was around 11:00 then. We didn't go to the Vatican museum as there were people waiting there for hours and hours.
So go early then you can avoid hours waiting in line.
Favorite thing: On my first trip to Rome, I chose not to climb my way up to the top of St. Peters Basilica, due to in no small part, the 1000 degree temperature of the city in the summer. However, thankfully, on my second go around in the Eternal City I did. What was at the end of the round and round walk up to the top? A magnificent view over Rome. Standing so far above all the madness of the city and its gangs of noisy Vespas, you can really soak in all of the city's majesty.
After visiting Rome a few times I eventually bit the bullet and went inside the Colloseum, a tourguide also. Wicked.
Fondest memory: The Latin Fiesta outside of Rome, huge fairgrounds with S.American, Spanish and carribean food, dance, knick knacks en zo. Can be really popular but not well known by tourists apparently.
I've always heard about the Vatican, I'm a catholic, so when I was in Rome I wanted to visit it.
The St Peter square is very nice and huge with all those columns lined up in a perfect simetry.
The inside of the Cathedral is so rich that I think it is almost too much.
I climbed hundreds of steps to get to the top of the tower overlooking the city, from there I was able to spot most of the main attractions and it helped me finding my way.
I would love to be able to visit Rome once again.
Fondest memory: Although many people think that the building isn't in the right place, one of the best moments I had was when I visited the Monument of Emmanuel the Second. It's just out of this world.
Another place I liked a lot was the Pathernon.
Favorite thing: As you follow the crowds snaking their way around the Vatican Museum to the Sistine Chapel you will pass through the gorgeous garden courtyard. Not so many flowers but lots of sculptures, busts even a sphinx and the buildings look lovely in the sun. It took us about three hours to work our way through the museum but could take a lot longer depending on how long you linger over the art.
Favorite thing: When you come out of the Pinacoteca follow the signs for the Sistine Chaplel. On your way there you will pass through the Raphael Rooms, the Borgia Apartments and miles of corridors of amazing art. No photos are allowed inside the Sistine Chapel itself.
Favorite thing: The Vatican Museum is vast. When you get inside and to the top of the escalator, through the turnstiles turn right to go into the Pinacoteca. Most of the crown go left following signs for the Sistine Chapel but they miss out on fantastic art masterpieces such as Raphael's Transfiguration which he was working on when he died aged 37 and his students had to finish the base. Also Caravaggio's Depostition. (see pic)
Favorite thing: We stood in a 90 minute line to go up into the Cuppola at the top of the dome. You can get the lift to the base and then it's legwork for the 330 steps winding up inside the inner and outer shell of the Dome. The view once up there is spectacular. Unfortunately I ran out of space on my digi camera but I have got great shots from my normal camera if I can get to a scanner to upload them. When you are climbing inside the Dome your body has to lean over to the right as you get nearer the top. Quite claustaphobic but well worth it.
Favorite thing: You MUST visit St Peters Basilica and the Vatican Museum when in Rome. I am not religious at all but the detail in the architecture and the beautiful works of art are mind blowing. Get to the Vatican Museum early. We got in the line at 8.30am and the museum didn't open till 8.45 but the line was already around the block. Once the doors opened we moved in pretty quickly though but by then the line was snaking out of sight behind us.
In the end of the summer head to the St.Peter's early in the morning - on a weekday preferably, oh yes and make sure the sun is shining.
Enter the church hall and walk down then main ship, then turn around and rest in contemplation.
The picture might give you a hint of what I mean. God's finger come down and reach for you - where else than here?
Fondest memory: Maybe the architect was a clever guy or maybe a woman? and had planned this scenario carefully or it just so happend that the sun would shine "miraculously" through the upper windows and create this nice effect.
Yeah yeah the vatican is nice and all, but you definitely need to go check out the tombstones...you will find some interesting characters.
Fondest memory: The crick in my neck from looking at the Sistine Chapel...but, definitely worth it!
Via della Conciliazione is the main street leading to St Peter's Church from Adrian's Mausoleum or Castel Sant'Angelo.
The project to create this monumental street began in 1936 and ended only in 1950 (it was finally inaugurated during the celebration of the Holy Year).
The goal was to make a street that was perfectly straight, and in order to achieve this, some old Borghi buildings had to be demolished.
But in the end, despite their best efforts, Via della Conciliazione is still crooked and so rows of columns were placed on both sides to try to hide this fact.
Favorite thing: You maybe tell me that it is a shame beeing in Rome and not visiting St Peter's Church. When we arrived there wasn't even a long queue but we didn't feel like entering it. I can't really explain why but I guess it wasn't the time or the date for it. Maybe we found enough salvation just sitting on the square in the sun ...
Fondest memory: Halfway through the climb to the top you will get to look down at the inside of St.Peter's Basilica. It's almost like standing on a skyscraper and looking down at the streets. Here are you looking down at tiny people. If you are afraid of heights, don't look down.
Fondest memory: It was a tiring climb to the top of St.Peter's. You can take an elevator for the first section of the climb, but everybody has to climb the final 302 steps to the very top to see the whole city of Rome and Vatican City. A lot of twists and turns, narrow ways to the top. A word of caution goes to the elderly and the young. Very tiring; take it easy.