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Things To Know Before Visiting The Vatican

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Things To Know Before Visiting The Vatican


Vatican City is the world’s smallest country, but there’s no noticeable border, it is to all intents and purposes just a district of Rome. There are nearby rail (S. Pietro) and Metro (Ottaviano-S. Pietro) stations and bus stops, you can also easily walk from the centre of Rome, or catch an open-top tourist bus – in terms of travel there’s no best way to visit the Vatican, it’s down to your preference!


Whilst there are fewer than a thousand residents Vatican City attracts millions of visitors each year with St Peter’s Basilica and Square and Vatican Museums – home of the Sistine Chapel – top destinations on people’s lists of what to visit in Vatican City. The best way to visit the Vatican, is to plan before you travel.


The museum can get very busy during the day, with long lines to get in. You’re advised to buy tickets in advance from an official agent or directly from the Vatican Museums website before your holiday as you decide what to visit in Vatican City.

The museum and famous chapel, with its even more famous ceiling décor painted by Michaelangelo, is normally closed on a Sunday, so Saturday and Monday are especially busy. You can avoid the crowds by getting up early, or heading to the museum later on in the afternoon, though be sure to leave yourself several hours to do it justice. Private tours are available too, but these can be a little costly.

There are some rules you need to know about before visiting the Museum and Sistine Chapel, similar to other places to visit in the Vatican: no bare shoulders, no short skirts or short trousers and no hats. No food or drink is allowed and no flash photography in the museum, with no photography at all in the chapel. The use of cell phones is also not allowed.


Advice about an early start also applies to visits to one of the other most popular places to visit in the Vatican: St Peter’s Basilica. The long queues in the square move rapidly, but an hour long wait is common, unless you purchase one of the fast-track tickets and skip the line. You will pass through airport style security on entering St Peter’s Square.

Again there’s a strict dress code: no short trousers or skirts and shoulders must be fully covered. Entry to the Basilica itself is free of charge, however you will need to buy a ticket to climb the cupola dome which offers a fantastic view of the Vatican city and Rome. For this you have two options, slightly cheaper is walking all 551 steps or pay a little more to take an elevator part of the way (still leaving you with 300 plus steps).


Another paid part of the visit to the basilica is St Peter’s Treasury: filled with artworks and historical religious items, it’s one of the most impressive places to visit in the Vatican. When deciding what to visit in Vatican City you should definitely include the Vatican grottoes which contain the underground tombs of past Popes and historical royalty, you’ll also find monuments to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II there. They’re free to enter.


If you want to see a blessing from the Pope he does that from a balcony overlooking St Peter’s Square at noon on Sundays, except in winter when he appears at the nearby Aula Paola VI Auditorium. The Pontiff arrives in the Popemobile around 10.30am to bless the crowds. During the summer he makes the blessing at his residence Castel Gandolfo 25 miles outside Rome.


The best way to visit the Vatican gardens, in fact the only way, is on the official tour for which tickets are best bought at least a day in advance.


best things to do in rome italy

Guide to the Best Things to See in Rome Italy

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Guide to the Best Things to See in Rome Italy


Tourists over the years have visited Italy and, there are just so many things to see in Rome Italy. However, out of these so many things are the best things to see in Rome that you should know about. These are places you must visit to see things for yourself before concluding your tour of Rome.


The Colosseum including the Arch of Constantine:

Hearing about the Colosseum and visiting the largest Roman antiquity structure to see things for yourself is not the same. Purchase a tour and experience this architectural masterpiece of ancient Rome that remains standing. This magnificent building was launched in AD 80 with some fantastic games. The Colosseum is the biggest building left by ancient Rome and, its design is a model for today’s football stadium. Also, beside the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, which is a champion’s edifice that was erected in honor of the emperor after achieving victory in the Milvian Bridge battle of 312. And, so it is certainly one of the things to see in Rome.


The Pantheon:

Initially constructed in the year 27 B.C., the Pantheon, which is a Roman temple to the gods, was rebuilt later in the early second century A.D. following fire damage. It remains very much intact today, making it one of the best things to see in Rome during your tour of this great city. Early Christian emperors banned the use of this temple for pagan worship. However, afterwards it took on the role of an earmarked tomb for Italian kings, and other prominent people including Raphael, a well-known painter.


Trevi Fountain:

Trevi Fountain is obviously one of the things to see in Rome Italy. This is because it is a famous tourist attraction that visitors continue to throng to. Besides this, it is a masterpiece structure that films love to immortalize. So, you should buy a tour today and, come see Trevi Fountain, the largest fountain in Rome. One of the activities done here is coin throwing. This tradition is one that is done for at least two reasons which includes finding love and visitation of this city again. One benefit of your coin throwing is that the money gathered from this fountain (almost $3,500 daily) is used in supporting feeding programs for the city’s poor.


Roman Forum:

Seeing the Forum is an opportunity to step back two millennia and understand a bit of how life was back then. This is possible when you buy a tour of this edifice or what is left of it. Even though most of this center of ancient Rome is gone, you will still be able to enjoy a bit of its former glory. This includes the wall remains, its triumphal arches and columns (both the standing as well as the fallen ones).


Piazza Navona:

Once known for being the site for an ancient Roman stadium, it is now a rebuilt square displaying what is known as the Baroque-style of architecture. Its beautiful centerpiece fountain known as the Fountana dei Fiumi is also an example of this style of architecture that you will love to see when you visit.


Spanish Steps:
These stairs take their name from the plaza (Piaza di Spagna) found at their base and lead up to Trinità dei Monti, a French church. The stairs remain a favorite for many tourists who sit on them during summer to relish a gelato or to warm hands during winter over roasted chestnut cones. You will also find a Barcaccia fountain bubbling away at its foot when you buy a tour to experience the best of what Rome, Italy has to offer.