The following day – our last full day in Rome – Joel & I decided to visit as many places as possible, so our itinerary included Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Since we spent the previous day with our 6 travel buddies, the two of us decided to venture out into the city to give the other couples some alone time. After grabbing breakfast at the hotel with our traveling counterparts (and organizing the taxis for the following morning), we headed toward Vatican City… except it was raining. Although we avoided precipitation for the previous 5 days of our trip, the dreary clouds finally caught up to us, but we weren’t going to let that rain on our parade! See what I did there? After I went back up to the room to grab my hoodie (and Joel grabbed his hoodless jacket), we took the train to Vatican City.
The public transportation was a straight shot and prevented us from getting completely soaked, so it worked out. Upon arriving at the Vatican, we were under the assumption that we could go straight to the Sistine Chapel to view Michelangelo’s masterpiece… but we were wrong. There are actually different tours to suit most visitors (from tactile/multi-sensory tours, to guided tours, to the Vatican Full Day by train tour), so make sure you check the website to see which tour fits your trip. We decided on the self-guided tour so we could take our time.
We had no idea that The Vatican is a massive museum filled with carvings, statues, paintings and countless other ancient artifacts from around the world… and that’s just what’s currently on display! As we traveled through the winding hallways of ornately painted ceilings, pottery and installation pieces, it was easy to forget there was a torrential downpour outside. Even though you will wait to see Cappella Sistina (The Sistine Chapel), make sure you arrive early enough to enjoy the unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of art.
Although visitors are allowed to take photos throughout the Vatican Museums, no photos (or hats) are allowed in the actual Sistine Chapel… but that didn’t stop me! As we sat along one of the benches that lined the walls, I slyly pulled my phone out of my pocket, blindly put it on the camera setting and snapped a couple of photos of the ceiling (my phone doesn’t have a flash, so I didn’t have to worry about that). However, their eagle-eyed security guards are trained to notice visitors taking pictures of the ceiling and they quickly yelled at me to put my phone away… but not before I was able to grab a few pics of the Sistine Chapel (including the famous Creation of Adam). I fell more in love with my phone at that moment, plus I saved $25 on a mass produced souvenir!
After walking through the halls of the Vatican Museum for about 2 hours and studying the Sistine Chapel ceiling for almost another 2 hours (which we could have done for far longer), it was almost time for the Vatican to close to the public. On the way to the exit, we viewed a few more artifacts (including a blue vase that looks EXACTLY like one my mother has) before purchasing a souvenir newspaper… in Latin!
Once the museum closed, we decided to dry off a bit and plan the route to our next location – the Trevi Fountain – so we visited the café across the street, appropriately called Caffé Vaticano. While there, we had the most savory cup of hot chocolate ever! Seriously, it was like they melted a chocolate bar into a cup and add a tiny bit of milk. THAT is how hot chocolate should be (sorry, Swiss Miss)! After our sweet tooth was thoroughly satisfied, it was time to make a wish at Fontana di Trevi!