I felt like a cheat classing Malmo as another country and therefore giving it a post to itself a few days ago but I obviously didn’t care too much as I’m doing it again, this time it’s even worse – there’s just no stopping me!
To be fair the Rome post was going on and on, it made sense to give the Vatican its own post, it’s technically another country after all.
First of all we had a look around the Vatican’s museum, the queues were horrendous but booking online pays off – we managed to get in quickly and avoid standing for hours in the searing heat. The rooms went on for ever, the Vatican has more artwork than it knows what to do with and every hallway and room is ornately decorated.
We seemed to be walking forever through these rooms full of treasures, I wouldn’t like to guess how much it all costs – the Catholic church will never be poor, that’s for sure! The map below was my favourite piece in their exhibition, it’s so old that there’s no sign of Australia whatsoever! I think it’s from the 16th century.
Eventually the rooms stopped and we arrived at the place we’d all been waiting for – the Sistine Chapel. It was very dark inside and quiet, no talking is allowed and sadly no pictures either. The artwork was pretty incredible, the fact that even the famous ceiling is painted with such intricacy is really impressive. We also witnessed a priest/bishop/reverend(a religious man of some description) give a prayer, even for an atheist it was quite cool to witness a prayer being done in the actual Sistine Chapel.
We then left the museum and popped back over to Italy, the people at the main entrance told us we had to buy tickets to get into the main square (I think they were lying to gullible tourists!). It was so busy, as I’m sure it is everyday, but the Pope was actually outside giving a speech – sadly we could only see him on the huge TV screens in the distance. We went off to wait for a bit, had an extortionately priced coca-cola and then headed inside.
After crossing through the gate(above) that seemed to mark the border between Rome and the Vatican we found ourselves in the main square facing St Peter’s Basilica. I was actually quite surprised by how understated it was, having seen how fancy other Italian cathedrals had been I expected the main one to be the creme de la creme! Again the queues to enter went on for miles so we never got a chance to go inside unfortunately, maybe its inside makes up for its pretty plain exterior.
We sat in the square for a bit taking everything in, watching the nuns going past alongside the persistent water/souvenir sellers. Even for someone who has very little time for religion it was a good experience to visit one of the holiest places on the planet, I’d definitely recommend a wander about the Vatican.