St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums – 8/4/2016

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”

Marcel Proust

Our second day in Rome was spent on the religious circuit, with the first stop being St Peter’s Basilica, head of the catholic church.  We started by going up the cupola, the cheats way by catching the elevator to the roof and avoiding the first 231 stairs.  From there we climbed the final 320 steps to the dome, with Tristan and I stopping a couple of times to catch out breaths.  The view over the Pope’s garden, the Vatican and Rome’s streets is spectacular.

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St Peter’s Basilica

Us in front of St Peter’s Basilica and a Swiss guard

St Peter’s Square, Vatican Gardens and the Vatican

We had an early lunch and headed for the Vatican Museums.  We went during lunch time, so the ticket ques were so much shorter.  We spent ages walking through the galleries, of course like everyone we really wanted the kids to see the Sistine Chapel.  You are allowed to take photos throughout the museum, except in the Sistine Chapel.  The crowd in the Sistine Chapel was huge, Andrew explained it to the kids, talking about different parts of it.  You can’t really spend long there as you are moved along and this is the only place in the museum where you are not allowed to take photos.  Josh and Tristan enjoyed it and talked about different things they enjoyed about it, Max and Ava got restless quickly.

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Museum Entrance

St Peter’s Basilica Information:

Cost: Entrance to the Basilica is free, Climbing the dome: walk all the way, 551 steps, the cost is €6, Lift to the terrace plus 320 steps is €8.

Opening Hours: Oct – Mar: 7 am – 6.30 pm, Apr – Sep: 7am – 7pm, The dome opens at 8am and closes one hour before the Basilica.

Vatican Museums Information:

Cost: Adults €16Children (ages 6 – 18) €8, Students (ages 19 – 26) €8, the last Sunday of each month is free, but crowded.

Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 9am – 6pm (Ticket office closes at 4pm), Sun: Closed except the last Sunday of each month: 9am – 2pm. (Ticket office closes at midday, 12:30pm).

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