Are you home Mr. Pope ?

Community Highlights Europe Are you home Mr. Pope ?

Up at 6:30, down for the Hotel breakfast at 7:15 and in a taxi by 8:00am.  Have to meet the tour guide at 8:30 for the Vatican tour.  You have a slotted time to go in so if you miss it you're out of luck.
Security checks are a must !  They go through your bags and you pass through a metal dedector.  You cannot take in large backpacks or umbrella's that aren't pocket size.  Those items must be checked in and retrieved at the end of the tour. 
Starting early, was the right thing to do as was purchasing the 'skip the line' tickets.  The line up for people wanting to purchase tickets at the door was massive !  The number of people visiting the Vatican everyday is in the 10s of thousands ... incredibly busy place.
The tour was really, really good.  The Guide was very informative and kept the group interested.  It's a bit of a scensory overload visually and the noise of the crowds makes it hard to hear your guide even though you have earphones in.
The Sistine Chapel was lovely.  The paintings are amazing and pictures are NOT allowed.  Unless of course you pretend not to notice the 100 huge signs of a camera with an X through it, or the 15 security guards saying 'NO pictures' every few seconds.  An entire group of Chinese tourists was escorted out of the chapel by security when they defied the warnings and stood in the middle of the floor taking pictures of everything.  Each one was supervised while they deleted the photos from their phones and cameras or risked having them confiscated. 
After the tour was complete in the Vatican museums we moved into St. Peter's Basilica.  That is truly a HUGE building.  Very opulent and shows the wealth of the Catholic Church (that's all I'm going to say about it).  I climbed the dome which wasn't as hard as the Duomo in Florence as this one has an elevator that goes half way up.  Great view of Rome and worth the time to do it.
After leaving Vatican City, I walked to the Pantheon.  This building is magnificant !  It was a pagan temple and as with most temples in Rome, was confiscated and 'Christianized' by the Christian church as some point after Constantine.  The Pantheon is free to enter and is well worth a visit. 
Tomorrow is a 'free' day for me ... wonder what I'll do ???

This featured blog entry was written by DiverDebs from the blog Rollin' Solo.
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By DiverDebs

Posted Tue, May 21, 2019 | Italy | Comments