During our four nights in Rome, we decided to go ahead and check out Vatican City. As we hadn’t pre-booked tickets, a fellow hoteller told us that we need to pre-book otherwise we could be queuing up for hours, so two nights before we planned to visit, we hopped online to check it out… Skip the line tickets were all sold out and the only option was a private three hours tour which came in at a staggering $60 AUD each! As it had been highly recommended from all people we had spoken to, we bit the bullet and booked the last two private tour slots for 10:30am.
When it came to the day of our tour, we were up early and hubby decided it would be a great idea to walk there…. All 3.6kms!
After almost an hour of wandering through Rome to Vatican City, we made it to the external of the tour building, and the queue was already huge at 10am (turns out the line was already had a wait time of 3.5 hours by the time we arrived!). Once we made it through the checkpoints and did a quick toilet dash, it was time to join our tour group, pop on our headphones and walk the Vatican grounds for the next three hours.
Our tour guide was great, thankfully English speaking, and we were lucky we went with a tour guide as there are certain areas you cannot enter without one we later found out. We visited all the main galleries, artworks by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and Bernini, St Peters Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. The highlight for us was touring St Peters Basilica, when you walk through those huge doors, it is breathtaking the view that awaits you. The amount of detail (and the size) of this building is unlike anything either of us have ever seen before, and will probably never see again. For anyone that has seen Angels and Demons and Eurotrip, hubby and I were constantly pinpointing locations based on these movies (wasn’t so fun when hubby was quoting Eurotrip “The Pope, the Pope is dead” over and over and I was trying to ensure no one else could hear him). Our tour guide was extremely informative and patient, and three hours later we were done.
If you are still debating whether or not to visit Vatican City, I implore you, do it, you must visit when you are in Rome as it was the highlight of our time in Rome and would recommend it over and over again until your ears bleed. The tour group is another great option to explore, as you get to enter other areas you couldn’t even if you buy a ‘skip-the-line’ ticket. The tour ticket is worth each and every penny.