Published: August 16th 2006August 16th 2006
Oh yes... Vatican! This visit meant a lot to us because of the Pope - John Paul II. We really wanted to see his tomb, he was such a wonderful Man ... and he was Polish!
Anyway, we got up very early as wanted to get to Vatican asap (one day out of a week in Rome). Our faces became cheerful the minute we entered Vatican City ! What we saw was absolutely amazing. Actually before we didn't realise how big St. Peter's Square was! When you see it on the TV it seems quite tiny... The queue to the Apostolic Palace was unbelievably long and at the beginning we felt like we were never going to see the official residence of the Pope. Surprisingly it was moving fast, so it took us only about 15 minutes to get inside the Palace! Before entering we were told to cover arms and legs as it was inappropriate to show off parts of body in a religious place.
Firstly, we headed towards the tombs of popes. So we went underground and stayed for about 10 mins nearby John Paul's tomb, which was plain with Pope's name written in gold. Very pretty.
Afterwards, we went all the way to the top of St. Peter's Basilica. There were a few hundred steps leading to the Copula. When we finally got there we were stunned by the view on Vatican and Rome. Absolutely fantastic. It was remarkable, totally extraordinary, brilliant!!!!! We loved it so much up there!!!!
We had a precise look around Vatican, took photos of the Swiss guards, whose outfits looked hilarious . Admired altar, monuments, paintings and the magic of the Papal Palace itself. We were very lucky to have a sunny day. We really enjoyed being there.
The are two things we didn't do: 1
we didn't get to see the Sistine Chapel . We know, it's unforgivable, but we promised ourselves to see it when we go back to Rome someday. We simply didn't have enough time, it was only opened till 1 pm, what we realised at 3.30 pm !!! such a shame it was indeed (we had to leave the next day by the way); 2
we didn't see the Pope Benedict XVI! He was away...
There are more photos below