A day at the world’s smallest state the Vatican City! It is an independent state, the temporal seat of the Pope, entirely surrounded by the city of Rome, in Italy. It spreads across just half a square kilometer, but the Vatican looks every inch a religious superpower. Its holy buildings are monumental in scale and its lavishly-decorated halls house some of the world’s most celebrated artworks!
Start early and purchase tickets online, to skip the queues at the Vatican Museums. The museums contains one of the world’s greatest art collections, culminating in the Michelangelo-decorated Sistine Chapel. There are kilometres of galleries to explore, with everything from Egyptian mummies and Etruscan bronzes to classical sculptures, cartographic tapestries and Renaissance canvases. Don’t forget to gaze heavenwards in the Sistine Chapel! 🙂
After the Vatican Museums, wander down to St Peter’s Square – the Vatican’s great focal space, this keyhole-shaped piazza is enclosed by two vast colonnades, designed by baroque master Gian Lorenzo Bernini to represent ‘the motherly arms of the church’. Entering St Peter’s Basilica for the first time is an unforgettable experience. The size and opulence of the cavernous 187m-long interior are breathtaking to behold, and wherever you look your gaze falls on yet another priceless masterpiece.
Save one last gasp for Michelangelo’s greatest architectural achievement: the dome, reached by a side door to the right of the basilica’s main entrance, a creaky elevator ride, and a 320-step climb up a narrow, winding staircase. Emerge to soul-stirring panoramas of Rome’s rooftops awash in rose-gold light!