Viva Roma! (Rome, Day III.)

On Sunday, for our last day in Rome, we (fittingly) decided to spend the day exploring the Vatican, seeing St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, and trekking up to Castel Sant’ Angelo. We took the Metro to the Vatican (since it was a bit too far to walk) and arrived at the world’s smallest country at around 10A. For anyone that’s unaware, the Vatican is its own sovereign entity, separate from Rome; they can print their own money, they have their own post offices and the Swiss Guard patrols instead of the Roman police.

Fortunately for us, the line to get into the Vatican was incredibly minimal. We waited for about 10 minutes (as compared with stories of waiting in lines of 2+ hours!) before we made it inside.

Pictures can’t really capture how astounding the cathedral is. Not only is it huge, it’s incrediby ornate: amazing statues, gold fixtures... plus being that I’m Catholic (by association)  it carries such an amazing history that it was pretty breathtaking to actually be inside. Legend (and some historical evidence) hold that St. Peter is actually buried under the altar of the basilica. For this reason, a number of popes have been interred at St. Peter’s since early days. I, of course, grabbed some goodies for my grandma from the Vatican shop once we were done gazing — wish she could have been there to see it first hand!

After checking out St. Peter’s Basilica, we decided to head to the Musei Vaticani to check out the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Unfortunately (take note), the Sistine Chapel and the museums are closed on Sundays. If you’re planning on hitting up the Vatican and it’s important for you to see these things, make sure you go any other day! Although we were slightly disappointed, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed up to Castel Sant’ Angelo.

[Another tip: Do not eat in Vatican City. It is ridiculously overpriced — head to the outskirts to grab lunch. We paid 10 euros for a mini pizza that we shared… in any other world it would have cost about 3 euros.]

In any case, we made it to Castel Sant’Angelo in about ten minutes and the view from the Castle was absolutely breathtaking!

Castel Sant’Angelo (below) was apparently built as Hadrian’s tomb in AD 170 or so, but has been reconstructed a number of times. It’s absolutely gorgeous and it sits right on the bank of the Tiber. The bridge in front is lined with a number of Bernini’s statues:

Afterwards, we crossed the bridge and spent some time in the city, finishing our day off with some gelato at the famed Giolitti. After a delicious break in the day, we began our trek home. After a ride on the Metro, a quick jaunt on the bus, a walk down to the station, a two-and-a-half hour plane ride, and a 60 minute Tube ride, we were back in London.

Arrivederci, Roma! It’s been real. I was able to scratch Rome off my list of places to see before I die, but I could definitely see myself making Rome a destination trip. Gotta go back again and drag the fam!

Lots of love,


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