Today we brought our advance tickets to enter into the Vatican museums without standing in the ever-expanding line up. You don’t realize how big the wall is around the Vatican until you must walk around it to get to the entrance of the museums. After a few minutes of walking the doorway was finally in view. Once entering the museum you must climb some stairs go through a turnstile and climb some more stairs until finally reaching the main level. Directly ahead you can walk out onto the deck and in the distance the dome Basilica of St. Peter can be seen.
After spending more than 6 hours walking the grounds and the museums my feet were begging for mercy. The amount of artwork that the Roman Catholic church has accumulated is amazing. There is so much to see besides artwork. In the lower garden there is a staircase that takes you into the “garage”. Here you can see the transportation modes that were used for all the different popes. Horse drawn carriages, Rolls Royce cars, jeeps and the infamous dome covered vehicle that Pope Jean Paul was driven in.
Heading out of the museums we headed around the wall to St. Mark’s square. When you enter into the ring it is hard to believe just how large this square actually is. It was massive. I didn’t know where to look first. A very large line led from the far end of the square into the basilica. Huge posters huge on the side of square indicating the beautification of Pope John Paul would be today. Of course we choose this day to visit the Vatican. As we stood in the square the lineup continued to grow – there was no way we were lining up in that. The basilica would have to wait for another time.
This was our last chance to use our tickets to enter the Colosseum so we headed straight there. I have been to another Colosseum located in the town of Pula, Croatia so I was looking forward to seeing how this one compared to that one. I was surprised at how much was no longer intact inside. The floor of the arena is no longer there, showing the tunnels underneath and the seats are long since pillaged for other constructions. There are only two levels that you can walk around but they offer great views of the interior.
Soon it was time to head back out to find some dinner and rest our tired feet. Tomorrow we are off to Firenze!