Vatican City is a country located within the city of Rome. With an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 1,000, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population. However, formally it is not sovereign, with sovereignty being held by the Holy See. Within Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications.
I would recommend pre booking your own tour, this was the queue and we started our at 8.30am. Our tour included the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica.
We started in the Square Garden, where we were told all about the Sistine Chapel and what we would see, and also advised that there was to be no talking, no questions and no photos in this holy place.
I have never seen so much amazing artwork, the Vatican popes have put together one of the world’s largest collections of private art with frescos, paintings, sculptures and treasure. We walked through galleries such as Raphael’s Rooms, and heared stories behind works such as the School of Athens — a piece that features images of Michelangelo and Raphael himself. We walked through very long halls such as the Gallery of the Masks and Gallery of the Maps. So make sure that you wear comfortable walking shoes !
Then, make your way into the Sistine Chapel. A sacred spot and the private papal chapel, the Sistine Chapel is also renowned for its Michelangelo frescoes; The Last Judgement and The Creation of Adam. We then came to the Holy Door.
And then onto St Peter’s Basilica, which is said to be built on the ground where St Peter is buried. This church is the most beautiful and grandest that I have ever set foot in. It is so amazing !
I am in two minds about this tour. This is so unique but they do need to do something about the numbers visiting and maybe having better organisation. Our three hour walking tour ended being over five hours mainly due to the sheer number of people there. I am glad I visited but do not think I will ever go back.