Oversea, Travel

Vatican City + Rome Day 4: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica & St. Peter’s Square (Part 2)

My Europe travelogue so far…
London Day 1: Flying With MAS, Heathrow Connect & Piccadilly Circus
London Day 2: Covent Garden, British Museum, British Library & Phantom Of The Opera Musical
London + Rome Day 3: YHA Oxford Street, Gatwick Airport, easyJet & Tiring Rome
Rome Day 4: Six Beds, Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill (Part 1)

After our morning visit to Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill in Rome, our afternoon destination is the Vatican Museum in Vatican City which is about 10-15 mins walk from Ottaviano Metro. Fyi, Vatican City is a country state inside Rome. On the way to Vatican Museum, we stopped at one of the many Pizzeria Rustica joint (read my review) in Rome for a quick lunch. It was 1pm then.

We read that Thursday afternoon is the best time to visit Vatican Museum as it has the least queuing and crowd. Well, that’s only half true. The queue for the tickets were short but the crowd in the museum is immense! We bought our Vatican Museum ticket online so that we don’t have to queue when we get there. We just need to exchange our printed ticket to the official Vatican Museum ticket.

Vatican Museum ticket @ €19.00 per person – €15.00 (ticket price) + €4.00 (pre-sale fee). Not cheap.

You need to go through scanning machine at the entrance, so don’t bring bag larger than backpack or any non-foldable umbrella or you’re gonna need to leave it at the entrance. This is something you do not want if you plan to visit Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica after that coz it’s a LONG walk back to Vatican Museum entrance.

We went to the post office in Vatican Museum first to send postcards and letters home. This is the Vatican Museum wooden post box.

During queuing for the stamps, I encountered a very snobbish lady who jumped my line and when I asked her to move, she even defended she was right. So I let her be and *#$^#@ at her back with my Hokkien. Hahaha

Next to the Vatican post office (Poste Vaticane) is this beautiful spiral stairs.

It’s one of the most beautiful spiral stairs I’ve ever seen.

Before going in the museum, we also bought a bottle of mineral water for €1. Cheap.

Cortile della Pigna (pigna means cone) @ Vatican Museum. The cone is actually a fountain and I think it’s under restoration.

Museo Chiaramonti (museo means museum).

View of Vatican City and Rome from Vatican Museum.

Inside Vatican Museum.

Beautiful painted ceilings.

Museo Pio Clementino @ Vatican Museum.

Another beautiful painted ceilings @ Galleria dei Candelabri, Vatican Museum.

Galleria degli Arazzi @ Vatican Museum. This room is full of ancient tapestry.

Look at the crowd!!! At some rooms, it’s bumper to bumper. There’s just no way to walk. You have to wait. Thankfully it’s not fully summer yet so the weather is still cool enough. To help our tired body, we brought some ginseng along. Our mom always packed for us sliced ginseng when we’re travelling in case we’re feeling lack of energy. So in Vatican Museum alone, I ate quite a lot of ginseng to give me ‘super power’ to walk. LOL

Galleria delle Carte Geografiche @ Vatican Museum. It means Gallery of Maps. The side walls have lots of maps but I can’t help looking above at the magnificent painted ceilings.

The ceilings are painted with gold and is illuminated by natural light. So beautiful!

Sala dell’Immacolata @ Vatican Museum. Painted walls and ceilings!

As we walk further and further in (mostly following the crowd), looking at the museum artifacts, painted ceilings and walls I can’t help but to wonder… Wow Vatican City is so rich!!!

Stanze di Raffaello @ Vatican Museum. It means Raphael Room. This must be the most famous room in the whole of Vatican Museum and it’s located at the end of the museum, near to Sistine Chapel. These rooms are painted by the famous Italian painter, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino or Raphael.

Raphael Room.

Painted ceiling at Raphael Room.

More painted walls at Raphael Room.

Near Raphael Room there is a ‘secret’ doorway to Sistine Chapel and there’s where we went after that. Too bad photography is not allowed in Sistine Chapel. This chapel is even full of people! I imagined Sistine Chapel to be very big but it’s just a small chapel. There are seats along the walls and there’s where we sat for a good 30 minutes, looking at the painted high ceilings and walls admiring the works of Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio. Those without seats will be standing all over the chapel looking above. To tell you the truth, if you do not know the story of the paintings it’s hard for you to grasp the beauty of Sistine Chapel. So go arm yourself with audio or book guide. Sis downloaded the free audio guide and map from Rick Steves for our Europe trip.

This is the exit of Sistine Chapel. On the right is St. Peter Basilica, our next destination.

Before that we need some water as ours is running out. Saw a man drinking from this fountain.

So we decided to fill our bottles ‘cautiously’ with the fountain water. Thank god no stomach-ache. Kekeke

At the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica @ Vatican City. Entrance is free. πŸ™‚


2nd time today I’m in awe. First was Colosseum and now this!

They’re called crepuscular rays. Sometimes we see this in the sky.

St. Peter’s Basilica @ Vatican City. What can I say, this is an awesome building!

St. Peter’s Basilica taken from the square. This is where the pope address the people.

St. Peter’s Square. Chairs for the people to sit and listen to the pope.

Vatican obelisk @ St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

Beautiful fountain @ St. Peter’s Square.

Pontifical Swiss Guard of Vatican City. Yup Vatican City doesn’t have army. That’s why Vatican City is a state and not a country.

By the time we exit Vatican City, it was 4.50pm. We bought amaretti (Italian almond macaroon) on the way to Ottaviano Metro. We alight at Vittorio Emanuele Metro (right in front of our doorstep! wohoo) and rest at our lodging for about 15 minutes.

Then very slowly we walked to the gelato shop (means ice-cream) which the lady at Six Beds told us about. Read my gelato review here: Palazzo del Freddo Giovanni Fassi (must read or you’ll be missing something important!!! kekeke)

Right after our YUMMY YUM-YUM gelato, we head straight away for dinner at 7pm at Ristorante La Vecchia Conca which is right opposite Six Beds. It was a very fun dinner. Read my review and you’ll know why!

After dinner, we dropped by the food store (again) beside our lodging. Bought some peaches, pasta sauce and wine as dessert and souvenirs. Then it’s back to Six Beds to rest and sleep.

Stay tuned to day 5.

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  • Reply Adino July 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Wow really beautiful. The sunlight rays at the St Peter Basilica is a really amazing effect.

  • Reply foongpc July 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Oh! Vatican City is a state? I always thought it is a city! LOL! Ooh! The ticket to the Vatican Museum quite costly eh?

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

      I thought it’s a country.

      Yeah costly but I think it’s worth it.

  • Reply foongpc July 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Haha!! You did the right thing in scolding the snobbish woman in Hokkien : D

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Not that I wanna be rude but beh tahan at her. Hehe

  • Reply foongpc July 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    WOw! Beautiful spiral staircase!!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 4, 2012 at 8:01 am

      It’s one of the most beautiful stairs I’ve ever seen.

  • Reply foongpc July 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Wow! So many people? Wonder if this it is like this everyday? I don’t like crowded places during travels! Want to take photos also difficult! But the paintings on the wall and ceilings were all very beautiful!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

      It is like this everyday. Morning is more pack I heard. I don’t like crowded places too but what to do. You gotta see what you gotta see. Maybe winter time will be less people.

      Vatican City is so rich!!! Haha

  • Reply foongpc July 3, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    St. Peter’s Basilica looks really grand and awesome! I wish I can go there too!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 4, 2012 at 8:03 am

      You will one day. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Amanda Lee July 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

    hi there,

    long time no catch up. wow! what a great adventure you had there at europe.

    i was there in italy for 2 weeks for work purpose and only got to visit the entire rome in 2 days. i just pass by vatican city in a breeze and didn’t have time to visit the vatican museum.

    you photos are such great quality… now i will just imagine i been in there by looking at your pics.

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      Hi Amanda, ohh cool you gotta visit Italy. No matter for work or play it’s still nice! πŸ™‚

      Do visit the museum and basilica next time when you’re there again ya after all Vatican City is very small. You’ll need 1/2 day.

  • Reply Cheryl Chan July 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

    It’s so amazing!!

    St. Peter square and the fountain certainly reminds me of “Da Vincci’s Code”!
    I’ve already stunned a few times by your photos on the magnificient architecture especially the painted ceilings. If I were to be there myself, I don’t think I can ever walk, I’ll be stoned!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 4, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      Hi Cheryl, I’ve totally forgotten about Da Vinci Code. Some scenes were filmed at Vatican right?

      My head was like in the ‘up’ position all the time at the museum (plus mouth ternganga abit). Kekeke So many things to see, but too many people and little time.

  • Reply Dawn July 5, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Wow, wow, wow!! The pictures are stunning! Rome, Vatican City, Greece, Israel, Jordan and Egypt are the ancient places I long to visit some day.

    Vatican City is too darn rich. One of the reasons I don’t donate to Catholic churches! πŸ™‚

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 8, 2012 at 9:56 am

      I am sure your dream will come true. πŸ™‚

      Ohh is it? Hahaha Even at other parts of the world they are rich eh?

  • Reply Constance Ant July 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    the architecture is really mind-blowing!

  • Reply jam July 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The mural painting inside the Vatican Museum is simply awesome!

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Yes and the fact that it was preserved so nicely is another amazing feat.

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