After the long walk, we were jut outside the walls of the Vatican. I knew we were getting close as a very long line was formed all the way around the walls. I told everyone to keep going, that the simple reserving of tickets would allow us to bypass this craziness! Sure enough, we approached the front of the line and there was a separate area for those who had tickets reserved. Seriously, it takes minutes to do this online ahead of time, which I highly recommend!
Once inside and with our tickets in hand we saw all sorts of amazing artifacts. I decided last minute to add on the audio tour so we would really know what we were looking at and I'm glad I did. I got the children's audio tour for Braden (11) and Ava (9). Braden said he would have preferred the adult tour as the children's one was a bit "young" for him.
The Vatican Museum really is an incredible place that would take days to fully experience. I'll just share some photos and let the photos do the talking!
After spending time in the Vatican Museum, we visited the Sistine Chapel, no photos allowed. We spent a lot of time listening to the audio guide and gazing up at the ceiling that Michaelangelo famously painted. We were shuttled in like cattle, but I understand order needs to be kept in a place like this. For a moment, the photo-lover in me wanted to "steal" a pic, but I opted to not only observe the rules to be an example to my kids but also to simply just enjoy being in the moment. A photo of the ceiling would have not meant much later on as it would not have properly captured how incredible it really was. We all quietly reflected with our necks cranked and our eyes turned skyward, gazing at the masterpiece on the ceiling while listening to our audio guide.
Once we finished visiting the Sistine Chapel, we headed to St. Peter's Basilica. This church was absolutely incredible. It was so much larger than expected, the ceilings so vast, the details so intricate, everything was just on a much, much larger scale than can be imagined.
We made our way out of the Vatican, but first stopped to watch the Swiss Guards in their unique uniforms.
We ate at another local restaurant for dinner. The ambiance was lovely in the evening. We had a funny moment with Braden: the waiter asked how they liked their food and Braden decided to be honest by explaining the pasta in Italy is a bit too salty, he prefers the American style. Oh my! I bet the Italian waiter was shocked at that! I guess fresh pasta tastes different than our hard, ol' American pasta, especially to an 11-year-old!