After another delightful breakfast at our hotel’s rooftop restaurant, we headed to the Vatican Museum for the 10 am opening. Denny did some research online before our trip and learned that buying the Museum tickets online was a huge time-saver and line-avoider for entry into the building. We basically went to the head of the line rather than waiting lined up in the rain with hundreds of people and dodging their umbrellas. Thank you, Denny for all the pre-trip research you did that saved us a huge amount of time.
After going through security on the way in, we were in the main reception area which was already wall to wall people. We did not take a guided tour but rather opted to follow the map provided and go at our own pace — of course that didn’t prevent us from running into tour groups every two feet, so our pace was constantly slowed. There were so many people!
We saw rooms of Egyptian antiquities which is about the closest we’ll get to Egypt after our ports of call itinerary change. In one of the photos I hope to post tomorrow is Denny standing beside a statue of King Ptolemy II.
After viewing statues, paintings (many of them filling an entire wall or ceiling), and tapestries, we entered the beautiful Sistine Chapel. It was much smaller than I had envisioned, however it is a chapel, not a cathedral, so that makes sense. There’s almost too much to take in during one visit — and the paintings are just breathtaking.
We walked from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peters Basilica, the immensity of which is difficult to envision — it’s mind-boggling! The bronze canopy over the main altar is the size of a 7-story building. Some of the bronze used in the canopy was taken from the main doors of the Pantheon and melted down.
After leaving the Basilica we walked through St. Peters Square and stopped to take a photo of St. Peter’s and the obelisk in front of it.
For lunch, rather than eating near the Vatican, we returned to Ristor Arte il Margutta for another marvelous vegetarian meal. This afternoon we spent some time window shopping in the upscale shopping area near our hotel. Most things were outside my budget — leather shoes for 150+ Euros and purses for 350+ Euros — not happening in this household! We had fun drooling over the beautiful things and purchased a couple small items then headed back to the hotel.
We’re having dinner tonight at our hotel then will pack up the few things we unpacked. Tomorrow we go to another hotel with all our luggage to wait for our bus to the port. It’s about a 90 minute ride, then we’ll get in line to board the cruise ship! More blogging when we get to the ship — and hopefully a bunch of Rome photos will be added to the blog! Ciao for today!