Ring Scam at Vatican City


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Europe » Vatican City
September 24th 2018
Published: September 24th 2018
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Since Vatican City is supposedly a sovereign country although I find it hard to believe, I thought I'd write a separate entry just for it. It is said to be the smallest country in the world. I've heard a few other countries call themselves that. But it's really hard to wrap my mind around the idea that a place as small as the Vatican city which for me isn't even big enough to be a city is actually a country. Yes I know they issue passports so you can be a Vatican citizen. But so does Hong Kong and Taiwan. They are much bigger than the Vatican yet they are part of China. Peace out to my brothers and sisters and Hong Kong and Taiwan! There are less than 1,000 Vatican citizens. Most universities have bigger populations and campus than Vatican which is only 100 acres! I guess different rules apply when you have someone as powerful as the pope call a town a country.

I went early in the morning as advised as the Vatican museum is huge and will take an entire day to explore.

I booked my ticket online the day before to avoid getting scammed.
The Creation of AdamThe Creation of AdamThe Creation of Adam

I didn't take this photo inside the Sistine Chapel. This was a souvenir item.
I tried to avoid everyone who tried to talk to me and pretended I didn't speak English.

Entrance is only 17 Euros but the line will take forever even if you go early in the morning so I just paid for the skip-the-line-ticket which cost me 29 Euros.

The museum is home to art that I've read about in my encyclopedias while growing up. I saw more Greek antiquities in the Vatican museum than in Greece itself. They were nice but if there are thousands of white marble statues in a very long hallway it's hard to see them as special. Perhaps because of the lack of color. But I did see a few sculptures that were familiar to me such as The Discus Thrower, so that was cool. That was in my encyclopedia!

My favorite was the Raphael Rooms. These are four rooms with frescoes painted by Raphael! They were just absolutely magnificent! Raphael is now my official favorite artist. The Sistine Chapel is also inside the Vatican museum. It is famous for the frescoes painted by Michaelangelo and is regarded as one of the major artistic accomplishments of human civilization. It has several images that are familiar to most people such as the painting The Creation of Adam (God and Adam touching hands). It was amazing to see it in person. I didn't have a guide so I got lost a bit and went around in circles. I tried to listen to the English speaking guides as much as possible since I was too cheap to pay for a guide or even pay for the audio guide. I sat inside the Sistine for about an hour to rest and just admire the painting on the walls and ceiling. The genitals of the paintings used to be visible but had since been covered. Michealangelo was the gamechanger of his time when his work at the Sistine Chapel was unveiled. Call me a prude but I do not want to be looking at giant penises when I look up the ceiling while I am in church. Or pretty much anywhere else.

There weren't enough vegan options inside the Vatican museum so had to wait until the end of the day. All the beauty that surrounded me got me through although my energy was running low towards the end of the tour.

After seeing thousands of paintings in one day you get tired of it and just look for the famous ones like the Da Vinci's, Raphael's, and Michealangelo's. It was another very exhausting day which was what everyday was for me. I couldn't travel slow because that would mean more expense and I'm travelling on a very low budget so I had to make the most out of every single day. I was sight seeing for about six to ten hours each day and my feet would be sore every single day. I took a lot of breaks though because I don't have the energy to walk eight hours a day.

The next day I went back to see St. Peter's Basilica. I don't know if there is a bigger church in the world. The ceiling was sky high and the art was divine. The most famous art in St. Peter's is the Pieta by Michaelangelo which was the main reason I went there. My sister asked me to bring her fridge magnets for every country I visit. There were stalls outside the Vatican that were selling Vatican magnets but I thought it wouldn't be authentic if I bought the magnet even just outside the walls of the Vatican. Although I'm positive all the souvenirs were made in China whether I buy them inside or outside Vatican. But anyway, it mattered enough to me that I decided to buy the magnet at the shop inside St. Peter's Basilica which cost three times more than the ones outside.

I tried on a ring although I wasn't interested because I don't wear jewelry. When I tried to take it off though, it wouldn't come off! I tried for about five minutes while walking around the shop but it just wouldn't come off. I ended up paying for it. I felt like I got scammed having had to pay six Euros for what would have cost me three in the Philippines.


Additional photos below
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Raphael masterpiecesRaphael masterpieces
Raphael masterpieces

the one at the center is called Transfiguration


28th September 2018

Raphael is now my official favorite artist.
Oh the joy. that you say "After seeing thousands of paintings in one day you get tired of it and just look for the famous ones like the Da Vinci's, Raphael's, and Michealangelo's." Ah the irony of it Harold...you had to buy the souvenir fridge magnet within the Vatican walls to be authentic and it cost you three times more than outside the walls. So much magnificent art yet your everlasting memory is the ring that you slipped on and couldn't give back. Isn't travel grand? Always full of surprises!!!
28th September 2018

Raphael is now my official favorite artist
Oh yes it is! Haha! I still wear the ring sometimes and it always reminds me of that moment at St. Peter's Basilica whenever I put it on
1st October 2018
Bramante Staircase

Nice to read your story
I went to Rome alost ten years ago and visted the Vatican Museum and St Peter's Basilica. I wish I had thought about taking this photo then but I didn't. I have to enoy yours instead. /Ake
2nd October 2018
Bramante Staircase

Nice to read your story
Thanks! I thought it looked very beautiful so I snapped a photo. It's only when I wrote this entry that I discovered that it's actually famous enough to have a name

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