When In Rome: The Vatican & Sistine Chapel

With January one of my least favourite months of the year, I’ve been cheering myself up by browsing through pictures from my last little jaunt away – Oh Rome, you feel so long ago now!

And of course, in doing so, I came to the realisation that I’d completely forgotten to upload a whole load of photos. Does anybody else do that thing where they create 1,986,756 million draft posts then forget all about them?

So anyways, stay tuned for the remainder of my Rome photos in the coming weeks.

First up though, I thought I’d share one of my favourite experiences in Rome – visiting the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. These two were top of my list of things to do in Rome, and, so having booked our tickets a while in advance, on our first full day in Rome, we headed over to the Vatican.

N.B. I would recommend booking tickets – particularly if you’re certain you want to visit. You’ll be given a time-slot and, when you arrive you’ll get to bypass the huge queues that can build up outside ( although you’ll still have to queue, the pre-booked queue is much shorter). It’s also worth noting that because of the religious nature of the Vatican, in order to enter, you’re supposed to have your shoulders/chest and knees covered up – so nothing too short, and a cardigan is usually a must! There are tons of merchants selling scarfs/coverups outside who will quite bluntly tell you ‘you no go in!’ if you wear anything too revealing.

the vatican rome travel blog

Walking inside, the signs lead you through the Vatican museums – starting with this gorgeous courtyard. The buildings are amazing – I spent so long gazing at the intricate architecture.

the vatican rome travel blog

We visited in August, so it was pretty hot most of the time we were there! Luckily, you spend a lot of time going between the buildings and gardens, so you’re not out in the peak of the sun for too long at one time.

the vatican rome travel blog

Going inside, you’re immediately led upstairs, where you pass windows with these stunning views of the city…

the vatican rome travel blog

And of course, the inside of the museums themselves aren’t too shabby… We had a bit of a joke that by the end of the tour, you’ve seen so many beautiful designs and paintings that you almost become accustomed to the standard of beauty and don’t really pay as much attention to them. In fact, that’s how we felt about Rome in general to be honest!

the vatican rome travel blog

the vatican rome travel blog

the vatican rome travel blog

the vatican rome travel blog

the vatican rome travel blog

So much marble and gorgeous statues and paintwork everywhere. I think I could have spent hours browsing round and taking photos of all of the beauty.

the vatican rome travel blog

the vatican rome travel blog

Finally, we came to the Sistine Chapel… However, I have no photos of this, as you’re not actually allowed to take any photos inside the chapel. In fact, I actually saw a man who’d taken a photo being made to delete it by pretty scary-looking guards – no jokes. The Chapel itself is so beautiful and being inside is a really different experience. You’re not supposed to be too loud, so if the crowd starts getting too rowdy, the guards yell at everybody to be quiet. It was also packed when we went, with wall to wall crowds all just staring around at the gorgeous, intricate walls and ceiling designs. It’s at moments like this, when I wasn’t focused on taking pictures, or looking at the view through my camera, that I realised how lovely it is to just take in the moment, with the people you’re with, and no distractions.

So if you’re planning a trip to Rome and wondering whether to head to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, my advice is to make this a definite, especially if, like me, you’re a fiend for a stunning bit of architecture. There is so much to do in Rome, but you’ll be hard-pushed to find somewhere with so much beauty and history in one place. 

Leah x