The Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum

  - 1 opinions

A spectacular place ... you can't miss it!

Translated by Mariana Orrego — one year ago

Original text by Nuri Mercury

When one goes to Rome, in addition to the legendary Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, there is another place that is a must-see: the Sistine Chapel. I already wrote about the Plaza and St. Peter's Basilica... but I still need to tell you about the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel! So my article will be about these places… let's get started! :)

This time, I will talk to you about what I saw there and I will give you some recommendations so that you can enjoy your visit to this place to the fullest ^^

My visit to the Vatican Museum...

The Sistine Chapel… of course this place was on our list of places to go! That is why we bought our tickets online a few weeks in advance. Due to the experience we missed out in Florence, where we were left wanting to enter the famous Uffizi Gallery for not having bought tickets before... we made sure this would not happen again in the Vatican!

Being considered one of the places to which every human being must go at least once in his life, we had our ticket guaranteed to go to the Sistine Chapel on Saturday, January 9th of this year ^^

(Tourists with a guide)

As I had already mentioned, we had purchased our tickets on the Vatican website. When tickets to the Sistine Chapel are boughtstrong they also include admission to the Vatican Museum/strong. At first I could not understand why it included that entrance as well. I thought that access to the famous chapel would be quick, that the entrance would be further in, as when one goes to any other church or basilica.

h2 On the way to the Vatican .../h2

We had bought a ticket to enter strongat eleven in the morning. /strong I think it was a reasonable hour because it was neither too early nor too late. We got up at about half past nine to have breakfast, bathe and leave with enough time to arrive at the appointed time.

Also, since our accommodation was not so close to the center, we had to take a “trenino” (a kind of tram) to reach the strong Termini station/strong From there, we took the metro towards Battistini and we got off atstrong Ottaviano/strong.

We got out of the metro and I saw that there were lots of people. All of them walking toward the same direction: the Vatican. I recommend that when you go to this area, strongbe aware of your belongings./strong Well, do this always, but especially here. What happens is that among so many people, pickpockets can take advantage to get their way; )

We continued walking, following the map that guided us. I think that even if we didn't have any maps, thanks to strongthe/strong strongsigns on the streets/strong it would have been relatively easy to find our destination.

By the way, something I noticed is that throughout all the path strong there were several people, including "touristic" agents/strong asking passers-by: "Do you already have your ticket to the Vatican? We have exclusive tours, without the need to wait in line." Arm yourself with patience because there are not just one or two or three ... there are plenty! So at some point it becomes a bit tiring to be approached by someone every two meters x).

Well, us women continued our path, direct and without stopping much. I remember that before arriving, strongwe began to hear music at maximum volume./strong To my surprise, it wasn't religious music or anything like that: p It was more like modern music. As we got closer and I saw that in a kind of circle of people, there was stronga group of young people performing/strong a choreography.

We were getting closer, in our attempt to find the entry that corresponded to us. However, as we were going there, stronga person dressed in a very formal suit asked us if we already had tickets for the Vatican/strong. I answered yes (but I kept walking) and she indicated me to: "Line up here" ... The "here" she was referring to was the huge line where there were many people ¬ ’.

strongI didn't trust her and instinctively kept walking. /strong Although I hesitated for a few seconds, I told myself that there was no logic in lining up there (where we would surely spend who knows how long waiting ...) when we already had tickets that assured our entrance at a precise time.

h2 Finally at the entrance ... /h2

I did well because strongwhen we got to the end of the line, there were two sections/strong at the entrance: one for all those people without a ticket (those whom we had seen before ...) and another for those who already purchased their tickets (Us! :D). It's worth mentioning that the second section was ... completely empty!

So I recommend that if you plan to go to this site, strongbuy your tickets in advance/strong. This will save you from wasting time just waiting. This is valuable time can be best taken advantage of inside the Vatican Museum; )

Oh, by the way, I advise you to also strong be careful with all those vendors and tour agents (even if they are who they claim to be...)./strong Don't follow their advice, if you have any doubts, directly seek someone who actually works in the museum; for example,the security guards at the entrance.

To think that if I had listened to the woman who told me to line up, I would surely have lost the ticket I had already bought while waiting for an eternity there. She probably would have offered me a “solution” by selling me another ticket… so this seemed like a scam to me. Thus, be careful; )

We finally entered the Museum reception. First we went through strongsome security checks/strong where our bags were searched and we also went through metal detectors. Later, we went to the admission stand that corresponded to us.

When arriving, you will see that strong there are several admission points, but only one or two are intended for those who already have their ticket./strong Here the confirmation of the ticket purchased online must be shown. When purchasing a reduced fare ticket, an official identification that guarantees said discount must be presented.

strongDon't try to play slick by buying a cheaper ticket /strong than the corresponding one. When people do this, they must buy another ticket and what they have paid before will not be returned. So pay attention to that. ^^

After having redeemed our ticket, I thought that we would soon see the Sistine Chapel ... I was wrong! I was eager to see that place, but strongI had to wait a long time before finally getting there .../strong

Once the tickets have been redeemed by the customers, they climb some stairs that will take them to strong the entrance to the Vatican Museum./strong By the way, in this part they will pass other security checks again, but they will no longer check bags or anything else. They will only verify that your ticket corresponds to the day and time in question. In this section rent strong audio guides /strong is possible, but for this service you will have to pay an extra amount.

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We didn't pay for this, but if I could return, I would rent them. Since the Vatican Museum is so big (I did not imagine it!: O) and it has so many pieces; I think it would be very good to have the explanation of what is seen in these rooms.

The strongaudio guides/strong (as well as the commented tours, with an authorized guide) can also be purchased online, at the same time as your ticket ^^

h2 The short way or the long way ... /h2

Well, at last we passed the barrier and saw that we had strong two options: go up an escalator or walk up a spiral ramp./strong The short way or the long way? Well we chose the long way (although I wanted to take the other one, since it was faster: p). Even though we took longer, in this part there was an exhibition of boats from different parts of the world. (Well, they were more like miniature models of boats, they were not life-size: p)

So while we were going up, we saw strongvarious boats /strong that have been built by cultures from all continents: from Africa, to America and Asia, passing through Europe and Oceania, of course. There were very original models and showed all colors.

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strong All the designs were different. /strong I liked this exhibition because I had never before pondered how the same element (that everyone knows) could be built and conceived according to geographical needs, according to each culture and its use.

There were large boats that could carry many crew and various goods. There were other smaller ones that were only used to navigate the rivers and carry a maximum of two people. There were strongseveral models /strong that I liked because they were more than just boats: they were a true work of art due to the details with which they had been decorated.

By the way, as you may have already imagined: after I was the one who didn't want to go through there ... strongin the end I didn't even want to leave! /strong: p I stayed behind the whole time, taking out photos of the pieces exposed there and observing their details. That's how it always happens to me x)

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h2 A Grand Terrace ... /h2

Well, when we finally came to the end of that exhibition, strong we reached a large terrace./strong It was very wide. There were some trees and there was also stronga fountain /strong from which it was possible to drink. The water was cold (very refreshing!) And several people were filling their bottles or drinking directly from there.

From this terrace, it was possible to observe strong the large gardens /strong on the ground floor. We continued walking, following the path indicated by the arrows. We passed a corridor where there was an open door that opened onto the street.

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h2 A first garden ... /h2

We went out into a garden (a different one from the one we had previously seen). There was a big section of grass and in the middle of this garden, strongthere was a big golden ball./strong We went to see it and it turned out to be a work of art donated by an artist ... I don't know what it was called, I didn't write down neither its artist nor that of the name of the work.

I really liked this garden. Also, since the sun stronghad already risen, /strong it was already getting rather hot. That is why, by that time, I had already removed my big coat and my scarf.

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In that garden strongthere are several benches /strong so visitors can sit and rest for a while, talk or just enjoy the sun. ^^ At one end of the garden there are some tall columns that reminded me of the temples of ancient Rome. On the other side, there is a kind of semi-covered jar with a semicircular vault.

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h2 Finally inside the Museum! /h2

After all that walking, we entered (at last!) The famous Vatican Museum. The first thing I saw were stairs under stronga vault/strong. The vault and the walls were painted, they had many very beautiful details. Concerning beauty, the Vatican is a majestic place. I think each room turns out to be more beautiful than the previous!

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We went inside the first room. On the aisles there were astrong series of sculptures of different sizes in exposition./strong Most were of white marble. At the end of that long room, we reached other stairs whose vault was decorated the same as the previous one.

I think that when you visit this Museum, it doesn't matter where you look: strong in every square centimeter you will find a work of art! /strong On the stairs, on the walls ... even on the ceiling heights! I honestly could not stop looking everywhere (and taking photos, of course: p) because there were so many details (too many!) that caught my attention.

We arrived at a window from which we had stronga very beautiful view of Rome /strong. By the way, when we got there, there were a couple of French people who were talking about their trip and what they would do next (yes, I was gossiping a bit because I heard their conversation hahaha: P).

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They also discussed that the view of the city was very beautiful. The roofs of buildings, several facades and the blue sky were visible. Later, we arrived at stronga patio where there was a fountain in the middle. /strong In that part, there were several people sitting around the said fountain.

They were students (French too). I imagine they were strongart students/strong because several had their sketchbooks and were carefully observing the architectural details around them to sketch into their notebooks.

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Around that courtyard, and in the corridors, strongthere were several tubs /strong (or urns? O. o) that had belonged to different Popes. I think they must have been very squeamish because having a different one made for each one: P Although well, there are several (all, more correctly stated!) that have details and finishes that leave one breathless.

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In this courtyard there are also strong statues and some trees. /strong As it is outdoors, I think it is a space that fills each person who goes to this place with tranquility… well, when there is not so many people: P

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h2 Another room ... /h2

After observing that patio and all its pieces, we arrived at another room. Here were strongvarious animal statues and figures./strong Lions, peacocks, bulls, cows, lambs, horses, etc. We could not observe the figures very well because there were too many people, but also because the said sculptures are somewhat out of sight.

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Contrastingly, there was one detail that caught my attention and that, I bet, not many noticed: strongthe floor /strong. The floor was made of tiny mosaics where you could also see animal figures, plants and other details. It was a bit difficult to take a photo of the floor because there were several people passing by. When one person's legs were not visible, someone else's were. x)

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h2 ... and one more room and another one and another one/h2

We went to the next room where strong I admired the artwork in the ceiling /strong: in it you could see a series of hand-painted scenes. Even the elements such as borders or reliefs were also painted. I really admired the detail because they were painted in a very realistic way. If looked at them without paying much attention, one would believe that they are reliefs really made of gold. That's something I saw not only in that room, but in various other sections of this museum.

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For example, in the next room, there was also strong a circular vault that had a series of shields. /strong Looking at them, at first glance I thought they were stone reliefs. But when I looked better ... I saw that it was also painted! In that other room, the floor also caught my attention: again, it was made with small mosaics. However, unlike the previous room, the scenes represented were in color (or perhaps Guillermo Camarena had passed through there: P).

I was amazed strong for the detail and precision /strong with which those scenes were made… I can't imagine how long it took to craft! They even had nuances and in them, you could see mermaids and newts, as well as other marine elements.

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h2 And the Sistine Chapel ... When!? /h2

Well maybe by this point readers are wondering: “And what when did you go to the Sistine Chapel? "... because I too, after having seen all those rooms, I was wondering:" And at what time am I going to arrive to the Sistine Chapel!? I want to see it already! "Although there were signs from time to time indicating the way to go to get to that famous place, strong I just couldn't wait to get there ... /strong

Actually, I understood and realized that strongthe Vatican Museum is made up of many, many and many majestic rooms /strong both for its architecture itself and for the pieces exhibited there. As I said before, I believed that immediately entering the Museum we would have already see the Sistine Chapel ... but no!

Before getting there, strongwe had to go through at least ten galleries /strong (I think more ...). and in each one they see little arrows that say "Sistine Chapel --->" and we wait (at least me, hahaha) for the next room to finally be that famous chapel... and no! One gallery comes after another >.

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