Roma, Roma, Roma, the city of grandeur. It was our second day in Rome and the nostalgia to see all the amazing sites was simply overwhelming. Our day was action packed, as we had but one day to see the top five things on our list; The Vatican, St. Peter’s Square, The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and last but not least, Castel Sant’Angelo.
My Mom and I could barely sleep, partially due to jet lag, part in anticipation for our first Vatican adventure. Our morning started early, including a brisk sunrise walk to the Metro station (part subway, part above ground rail train) to arrive at Piazza San Pietro.
The great stone fortress wall of the Vatican is the only thing that stands between the city streets of Rome and one of the most revered and sacred places on our planet. That is to say, nothing stands between the public and the Pope, albeit the 125 Swiss Guards. Colorfully dressed in their traditional medieval military outfits, the Swiss Guard is perhaps the smallest army in the world. Hard-edged, they will hardly crack a smile. By chance, we got this fine Swiss chap to pose for the camera. I’m sure it was my charm and good looks that did the trick.
Tour guides for the Vatican are quite abundant in the surrounding area of Piazza San Pietro, directly west of the neighborhood of Borgo. Essentially, you do not need a tour guide to visit St. Peter’s Square or St. Peter’s Basilica. However, you will need a ticket and tour guide to enter the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Also, there really is no “best day” to visit the Vatican, however, the Museum closes at 4:00pm daily and everything is closed on Sunday (with a few holiday exceptions).
As we passed down the narrow, stone-laden streets past Piazza San Pietro, an Italian boy gave us a flyer for a discounted Vatican Tour. Perfect! We dropped into the local agency, who promptly scheduled us on the next tour of the day. The cost for ticket entry to the Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel with a guided tour was $57.50 Euros / per person. Perhaps you can shop around and find a better price, but we feel the cost was worth the quality of our experience. Also, it is optional to give a small gratuity to your tour guide, however amount you feel appropriate.
Be prepared to go thru heavy security and metal detectors upon entrance beyond the exterior walls of the Vatican. Justly so, security clearance is a high priority, especially in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in Europe. In addition to Vatican entrance “mentionables” please note there is a dress code for entering the Vatican. Out of respect, for both male and female, it is expected to wear long sleeves and pants. No sandals with an open toe are permitted. Ladies, if you choose to wear a dress or skirt, be sure it is well below the knees. No sloppy apparel, no cut off jean shorts or tank tops. Dress in business casual attire, as we would say in the United States. Likewise, no sunglasses or hats are permitted once you enter the Vatican. If you have come unprepared for the dress code regulations, you can always wrap a scarf or schall around a sleeveless top or anyone can purchase a plastic cloak to wrap around bare arms or legs.
We had a bit of downtime before the tour started, so the lady at the tour company recommended for us to go see the Pope hold his ‘Papal Audience.’ Every Wednesday, the Pope holds a “public audience” in St. Peter’s Square, promptly at 10:00 am.
How did we get so lucky? It was Wednesday, and we were just in time! I was so elated, that I almost forgot to stop and get my second cappuccino of the morning. I’m off to see the Pope…the cappuccino can wait! We dashed down to St. Peter’s Square to see our first, not to mention, surprise appearance of the Pope.
See our next article for exclusive (up-close) pics of Pope Francis holding his weekly Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square!
Micah Lyn is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner HHP, Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher registered with Yoga Alliance and KRI. She offers a variety of private yoga classes in Sedona AZ, yoga therapy and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Sedona Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Training, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.
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