So close and yet so far

I have just found this link to a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel: http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html

Isn’t technology wonderful?

Now if only our own visit to the Sistine Chapel in Rome had been so easy (and so private). But nothing compares to seeing things first hand, does it?

With a one and a half hours trip from the port of Civitavecchia into Rome itself we had booked the “Rome on your own” tour from the cruise ship. With only 2 things on our wish list: the Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum, we thought surely we would be able to see them both in the time we had?

The bus dropped us off in an underground tourist bus station just down the road from St Peter’s Square, so it was obvious to start with the Vatican.

Now we had actually done a little planning and preparation (for a change), but somehow it all went out the window, and instead of heading to the left of St Peter’s square to buy tickets to the Vatican Museum to access the Sistine Chapel, we got caught up in the queue of thousands heading to the right to enter St Peter’s Basilica (via security).

It was truly breathtaking…

Almost too much to take in.

On departure, we were conscious of time – and so, when approached to join a tour and skip the queues at the Vatican museums we succumbed (hmm, didn’t we plan to avoid tours??!!) Whether or not we saved any time is debatable, after we walked to the tour office, then waited for others to join the tour, and walked around the Vatican walls to the tour-group entrance.

We got a little impatient with the pace of the tour – stopping at models and display boards for informative talks, when all we were interested in was seeing the “real things”.

And there was so much to see…

No matter which way you looked…

I wondered how the guide could even suggest that we see the Egyptian display over the Raphael rooms!!?? And was very excited to see “The School of Athens” mural I had studied at school…

Finally, finally, we arrived at the Sistine Chapel.

Smaller than I expected, though the ceilings are of course super high.

While they limit the flow of people, it was rather crowded and noisy (despite the “hushing” from security staff), and we left the tour there (who were continuing to the Basilica which we had already seen) and could take our time, absorbing what we could until our necks complained.

Taking a final look at my favourite, Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” before departing (the long way out).

And what of the Colosseum? No time left for that of course, but it’s top of our list for our trip back to Rome next year!

When in Rome…

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About frenchfry36

South African by birth, British by right, Australian by oath, French by choice.
This entry was posted in Travel, World travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to So close and yet so far

  1. Denise says:

    Nola, I just sent that link to our daughter who had the opportunity to visit during her last year of high school. Thanks, to Mom and Dad. Your post makes me think of why we don’t relish the organized tours. But, you sure did have time restrictions on the cruise. We had Italy booked a few years ago, but had to cancel due to health issues. And will look forward to visiting this country one day soon. Another lovely post, and always your pics are wonderful.

    • frenchfry36 says:

      Thanks for your encouragement Denise. Italy is fantastic, as is Europe in general. There is just so much to see in this world… ah, if only I had the time and money to see it all!

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