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Vatican City

If there was one place I was desperate to visit during our holiday to Rome, it was Vatican City. Having previously not had a huge desire to go to Rome, the one thing that swayed my decision to make it the destination for Matt & I's first holiday was the thought of visiting the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. The artwork in the Vatican Museums was said to be astonishing and of course, I'd get a chance to stand in the Sistine Chapel - what more could an art/art history/RE teacher want ey?

So, one day we got up bright and early and started on the short walk over to The Vatican from our Air BnB flat. After roughly 15 minutes, we started to see a the tail-end of the queue for The Vatican Museums and oh boy was I pleased that I had booked our tickets online. Before Matt & I went to Rome, we debated over what we should and shouldn't book in advance and after almost booking nothing, for some reason, I decided to at least book The Vatican tickets and it's such a good job I did. The tail-end of this queue was around a corner and as we turned it, we realised the queue stretched the length of at least 1,000 people if not more. There were small groups, families, large tourist groups with a guide, individual backpackers... It was insane. I've never felt so elated but almost guilty as a swanned past them all, knowing we didn't have to wait in the 4+ hour line because we could just go and pick up our tickets and that would be that. The whole process was ridiculously quick and after a quick walk through a security scanner and stop-off at the toilet, we were ready to be awed by everything we saw.

The VaticanCeiling Artwork, The VaticanStatueCourtyard, The Vatican, RomeSculpture at The VaticanSculptureMinotaur, The VaticanVatican MuseumsVatican DomeVatican Museum ViewVatican Museum Mosaic FloorThe Vatican Staircase

The first *area* of the Vatican Museums to stroll through is very grand - it is full to the brim with sculptures and statues mostly, ranging from famous bronzes to mythological minotaur busts and more. Each room is so bright and airy and more grand that the last so they're a pleasure to wander through despite the insane buzz of people shuffling through the museums' almost one way route (if you get claustrophobic, you genuinely might want to look into visiting the museums during the evening as you can request a look around after hours as it is super busy - even at 9am on a weekday morning!).

As we slowly made our way out of these marble-filled rooms, we suddenly started to spill into the areas I really wanted to look at - the grand painted ceilings and corridors. The amazing thing about walking around these museums is the majority of the rooms and hallways are what you actually need to look at, not necessarily what they contain. Many of the corridors and rooms don't actually house any artifacts or static artworks but they each boast the most beautiful paintings stretching from floor to ceiling well actually, the ceilings are included too! I'm pretty sure Matthew was sick of me after the 50th time I walked into a room and went "*gasp* how pretty *gasp* look!" but it is honestly such a breathtaking place. It's worth saying at this point the Vatican Museums are huge so be prepared for walking a fair few miles during your visit because there's so much to see and you need to go through it all to get to the main attraction: The Sistine Chapel.

Jesus Christ Tapestry, The Vatican MuseumsThe Vatican ArtworkVatican MuseumVaitcan Museums PaintingsArt in The Vatican MuseumsCeiling Art at The VaticanFrom Where I StandCeilings of The Vatican

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter from Vatican MuseumsVatican PaintingsVatican Museums Ceiling ArtStained GlassPaintings at The Vatican MuseumsMosaic Floor Detail, The VaticanView from Vatican Museums Gardens

- A.
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