Monday, June 5, 2023
This morning we were up very early to take the Metro to the Vatican. It was rainy but it didn’t stop us from arriving at our Vatican Museums tour at our check-in time of 7:15 AM and our tour began at 7:30 AM. We checked in, met our guide, and had time to use the restroom before heading out on our tour. I can’t emphasize enough what a great idea it was to do this tour before the museums opened to the general public at 9:00 AM. It felt like a private tour in the museums and the Sistine Chapel.
The Vatican Museums house more than 70,000 exhibits in an area of 42,000 meters (or 26 miles)! There was no way that we could experience it all in a few hours! Floriana, our own guide for the ten of us, did a fantastic job! We took a lot of pictures of the exhibits we saw but we only posted a few of our favorites here.
Pictures weren’t allowed in the Sistine Chapel. When we were sitting in there and looking at the ceiling and the walls it was like having the space to ourselves. We thoroughly enjoyed our private tour and then when we were finished, our ticket included breakfast in the Pigna Courtyard (or the Pinecone Courtyard)!
After our delicious breakfast, we then had to walk through some of the museums to get to St. Peter’s Basilica. Well, it was packed with people and it was quite an ordeal to get out! We made it and then spent some time in St. Peter’s.
We went from St. Peter’s Basilica to the Roman Forum. It was the political, legal and religious center of the Roman Empire and was located between the Palatine Hill and the Capitoline Hill. It was first developed in the 7th century BC. After we walked through the Forum, we hiked up the Palentine Hill and took some pictures looking down onto the Forum.
Below is the Arco di Tito (The Arch of Titus). It was built by the emperor Domitian to honor his older brother Titus. It was created in 81-85 AD.
Our last sight to visit was the Colosseum which was built between 69-79 AD. As we walked around and then in the Colosseum you could envision the gladiators fighting, animal hunts happening or public executions.
Without going into a lot of specifics, if you visit any big city please be careful. There are many pick pockets and they are extremely slick. One of the members of our group had his wallet taken and it was in a cargo short pocket that was buttoned! Crowded places are easy targets. We found the police were not helpful.
This evening we had dinner at another great family restaurant and celebrated Dave’s birthday!
It was a day filled with a lot of walking all around Rome with over 25,000 steps.