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Christmas at the Vatican

Updated: Sep 7, 2019

The Vatican
The Vatican

Vatican City (Holy See), despite being in Italy, it is listed as its own country on the list of countries in the world. Its surrounded by Rome and is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the official home of the Pope.

With a place so iconic and monumental, even the wanderlust in me had to leave it up to the professionals, so I hired City wonders to head my tour of Vatican city.

The only advice I can offer you in terms of these tours is to please arrive on time (they will leave you). Tours are split up in groups of 10 and of course, pick a later time so you don’t feel rushed having to leave the museum after the tour is over. (they close at 6) Patience is key, as there are a lot of people trying to enter Vatican city. Even with the group, the wait time was an hour and a half. The group head purchases the entrance tickets so this is a good time to use the restroom as well. (the lines long for that as well) Also, don’t bring bulky bags (slows you down) as it's a pain going through the metal detectors and scanners. (Bathrooms are located after scanners) After the scanners, there's a huge open space where tickets are scanned and you enter Vatican City.

Tips for the museum.

Take the guided tour as it comes with listening equipment for your particular language.

It also offers explanations of the Sistine Chapel. This is key since you aren’t allowed to take picture or video in the Sistine Chapel. (just remove the flash)

You enter a courtyard where there is a big Sphere. (My third, including Dublin and Washington)

Fun fact: The sphere is the same size as the sphere above the Cathedral
The Sphere

After the courtyard, there’s a long hallway with famous statues and sculptures such as: “Laocoon and His Sons”

Fun fact: If the statue's eyes have no pupils, its the artist ’s depiction of the person, if the statues have pupils, this is how they looked in real life.

After visiting another courtyard, you visit the few rooms. (Renaissance at its best)

One of the rooms has this amazing view of the city as well.

View of the city
View of the city

After this, you are shuffled into different rooms with different themes, for example, the animal room has depictions of real animals as well as made up ones depicted by the artist.

The map room is still a mystery. Done long before the creation of photo’s but still has an 85% true depiction of Italy. How was it painted with such accuracy? We may never know.

The Raphael rooms and the Sistine Chapel are also places to get lost in the Vatican museum.

The ceiling of one of the rooms
The ceiling of one of the rooms

The Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo himself is as good as it gets in terms of artistic beauty. Its a sight to look at and something I won’t mind visiting again and again.

Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel

For your information: On the last Sunday of the month, the Vatican closes early (2 pm), That day it is also free admission so it’s crammed. (think sardines) The last admission is 4 pm to the museum. Despite the title, I went a few days before Christmas, it's actually closed on Christmas and the day after (Santo Stefano)

Have a Merry Christmas from the Novaturient Nomad!

Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any parties mentioned. None of the entities mentioned has reviewed, approved or endorsed the content listed in this post.

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