We were running. The whole pizza we just ate? Burnt within 40 minutes instead of 4 hours. Rome in one day is an enormously ambitious idea, and now we are adding Vatican City to the challenge. Once we overcame the sceptic in me, we started the journey on foot. They turned utterly blistered on the way back that we had to look for socks.
The sole reason of this decision was to see the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Did God touch Adam’s hand in Michelangelo’s extraordinary painting The Creation of Adam, or did he not? That’s the question we’re about to find out. But first, we had to go through “the gates”:
i hope you do remember that to enter Vatican City, you need a passport. The queue, horribly long. i mean, horribly. Luckily, this doesn’t apply to the Vatican Museums where Sistine Chapel is housed. So if that’s the only thing you wanna see there, i’d say keep your passport in the safe rather than exposing it to Roman pick-pockets.
After asking many insolent guards, we found the gates that vouchsafed us into the museums. It was like going through the customs from Malaysia to Singapore / vice versa. These people are rarely amiable no matter how broad your smile. For what purpose, i never understood.
Our trip from the museum to the chapel was literally a queue from start to end. i can’t say much in terms of how enjoyable that was, but here are some pictures i managed to take before they stopped us.
If you ask me if it’s worth the foray, i’d say only if you have time. e.g. 3 days in Rome. Otherwise, stay in Rome and practice bel far niente. Ironically, one of the most unforgettable experiences i gained from Italy, was upon entering the Sistine Chapel. It is basically a crowded room for you to pace through with your head in the air; fixing your eyes to the ceiling, holding that look on Adam and God. The entire time, there was a voice saying:
Silence. Silencio. Sshhh… (Repeat);
which elicited derision from the boisterous crowd. The room was as noisy as a wet market. “Sshhh… Do you wanna go to the toilet?” was the joke. We escaped the room, giggling hard.
That ends my Vatican City excursion. Honestly, i’m not sure if i entertained you, but i’m more than confident Rome II, will. It the meantime, here’s more about my Viva Italia travels: