Visiting Vatican City

Saint Peter’s Square

When visiting Rome, one of the places that everyone should take the time to see is the Vatican City. We highly recommend getting a tour guide when seeing Vatican City as there is so much to see and learn. We only had about five hours during our visit, which was barely enough time to see the main sights. Our tour started with the Vatican Museums, followed by the Sistine Chapel, and then St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square.

From the Front of the Basilica, You Can’t See the Dome
Model of Vatican City
Statue of Laocoön and His Sons
Swiss Guard

The Vatican Museums are a collection of galleries and contain a wealth of artwork, too much to see in a single visit. Just like visiting a museum like the Louvre in Paris, you have to choose what is important to you and make your way to those exhibits. We focused on the many famous statues and will have to find time to return at another time to see all of the famous paintings contained within the complex. Of course, no visit to the museums is complete without going to the Sistine Chapel, which concludes the tour of the museums. We were fortunate to be able to spend as much time as we liked in the Sistine Chapel as most of the time people are limited to just fifteen minutes to absorb the beauty of the artwork on the ceiling as well as the walls. Obviously we don’t have any photos from within the chapel as photography is not allowed, but seeing the paintings of Michelangelo was definitely a highlight of our time in Vatican City.

Lifelike Eyes
Detailed Tapestry
Beautiful Painting
Animal Statues

Saint Peter’s Basilica is an overwhelming sight to see. Equally amazing is that all of what appear to be paintings are actually tile mosaics. The detail and beauty of each piece is exquisite. Walking through the basilica and gazing at the statues, which are all uniform in proportion and size, is an awe inspiring experience. Leaving the basilica, you enter Saint Peter’s Square and take in the beauty of its design. If you stand at just the right spot, each series of columns combine as if they were each just one column.

Inside of the Basilica
Looking up through the Dome
Elaborate Tomb
Detailed Mosaic

We were grateful to have the opportunity to visit Vatican City while we were in Rome. The history, architecture, and artwork make this one of the most special places in the world to see.

Statuary inside of the Basilica
Sphere Within Sphere in the Museums Courtyard
Part of Saint Peter’s Square
Dome of the Basilica


8 thoughts on “Visiting Vatican City

  1. Loved your photos. Was there years ago on a Sunday. Did see and hear the Pope. (Previous one) but Sistine Chapel is closed Sunday. Bascilica and square are magnificent. Swiss guards are fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Definitely must sees if you visit Rome. But would you believe most Romans haven’t seen most of what you’ve described and shown here? Indeed, it’s interesting that except for people directly involved in the Vatican, it’s not part of “real life” for Romans!

  3. Even in the Sistine Chapel you find quite a few people who think the rules don’t apply to them. While we did as we were told and kept our cameras put away, we saw people all over the room raising phones and tablets above the crowd to take photos. No respect.

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