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Vatican Museum

Our second full day in Rome began with a trip to the Vatican. We reserved our tickets online a couple days ago for a 10:30am entrance.

After a 15 minute subway ride and a 15 minute walk, we arrived at the wall that separates the Vatican and Rome. And like every other big thing to do in Europe, the line to get in without prearranged tickets was huge. There had to be a few hundred people lined up down the side of the wall. But because we had a reserved entrance time, we walked to the front of the line at 10am and walked straight in.

There was an airport like security check point then the masses meandered their way to the first exhibits.

The Vatican Museums holds the largest collection of paintings in the world, 9 miles of them. There are 54 separate museums that make up the Vatican Museums consisting of 1400 rooms, chapels, and galleries.

It’s setup in a path of sorts that take you from room to room, eventually ending in he Sistine Chapel. The photos are a random assortment of some of the items we saw.

The Sistine Chapel was amazing! All four walls plus the ceiling as covered with paintings. You can really see the stories they were trying to tell.

Again no photos in the chapel so I’ve included a couple Internet photos at the end.

I’d read on the internet that it was possible to bypass the line to get into St. Peter’s basilica by taking the tour exit from the Sistine Chapel. Now when I read that, didn’t think the exit was actually in the chapel but just outside the chapel. Anyway, I led us down the wrong path and we ended up taking the individuals exit. Once you leave the chapel, the museum visit is basically over and they start to funnel you towards the exit.

Rather than have to endure a multi-hour line for St Peters, we found a shortened museum route back to the Sistine chapel, having to go through a lot of the museum rooms again. Once we ended up in the chapel for the 2nd time, I found the tour exit and we headed that way!

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