Vatican City and a bit of Rome

You’ll read more about my Vatican day on my blog, but I thought I’d get done with the tours that we took in this trip.

One of the other tours that I did was in the Vatican City – for the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel with Italy With Us.

One of my colleagues, whose husband is from Italy, highly suggested doing a tour and not going on our own for the Vatican City, as it would provide us a better perspective. And I am glad I did. I mean we all can read and do the audio tours, but the live guide has it’s own charm.

Enza was our friendly guide for the morning. This was spring, a shoulder season, and the tour I did was early morning one, without the crowds. It was still crowded, but nothing we could not deal with.

Later, when we walked by the Sistine Chapel again, I saw what ‘crowds’ meant. It was packed. And I couldn’t stop imagining how busy it must be during the summers.

Coming back to the trip, the meeting point was outside the museums, the exact location being Via Vespasiano 16/18. It was an easy train ride and a tiny walk from the place where we were staying in Rome. Yes, you guessed it – you’ll read about my accommodation too, soon on this blog in one new post.

We then walked to the entrance where we were handed the radio devices and headsets and went through a security check. We walked past the museums to view the Sistine Chapel without the crowds.


The frescoes were beautiful. Though I’m not much of a history buff, I do plan to do some reading on it now. For then, Enza was informative.

Once done with the chapel, we went back to the museums, and did the whole thing. Enza walked us through some quickly and spent some time detailing some others, like Raphael’s room and the likes.


After this, we went to the St. Peter’s Basilica. This is the grandest I’ve ever seen, from the inside. She took some time to explain things to us, but it was hard to keep track of certain things because we had a toddler in tow who had woken up!


After the tour, we could spend more time there, and we did. We went up to the dome, with baby K. That was an adventure, since he wasn’t as little, and it was hard to carry him up. Though the hubster did most of it. The views from up there were certainly rewarding.

After a lunch at Pizzarium (you’ll read about it on my restaurant blog), we walked to Castel Sant’Angelo but were too tired to go inside, plus it didn’t look as inviting. But the views from around there of the basilica would’ve been million dollars later in the evening. This time (around 4/ 5) was still bright and sunny and though we got good views, we couldn’t capture them as well on the camera.


The day wrapped up with us walking to Piazza Navona, exploring that area quickly followed by a short visit to Campo di Fiori.


This, a dinner (again, stay tuned for it on my restaurant blog) and we were all set for a second tour – a night one at the colosseum, with Italy With Us again.

It started with a quick history of the Ford Forum. Andrada was our guide for the Ford Forum part, where she gave us a brief history of Rome. At the colosseum, Francesca led us through it. It was good being in the underground level, to see where the stars of the shows at the amphitheater came from 🙂

I marveled at the engineering, so simple and scary – with the big stones just lined up, holding each other.


We started our day around 6:50 AM (leaving from home, discounting the time to get ready) and only got home past 11:30 PM (discounting the time to wrap up to leave for Florence early next morning).

However, it was a day well spent and utilized – with everything from tours to history to art and architecture to food and wine and fun neighbourhoods.

I lost my way in the evening to find the Italy With Us office and their meeting point for the evening, and was late when I finally joined them. But one of their members was kind enough to walk us to the group where they were. Thankfully, they had only just started and had not gone too far, but a thank you to them for their courtesies 🙂

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