When? August 1987 and June 2013 How? Bus and walking Who? In Rome with friend Sue and back again with Linda
‘Dr. Jacobus, I am walking out your doors right now. I need clothes. I am going to Vatican City. One does not go to Vatican City with one’s ass hanging out. Do I make myself clear?’ Dan Brown, Angels and Demons
Visiting the Vatican is a daunting affair. The crowds are huge, and the queues lengthy. To be frank it’s a scrum. It can take an age to get into the basilica. And if you want to see the Pope declaiming the Angelus prayer from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square at noon on a Sunday you need to bag your place early,
Finding the museums and the Sistine Chapel isn’t easy either. The chapel isn’t well signposted, it isn’t open on most Sundays and they shut the doors well before closing time. Other museums and buildings seem to be closed on an arbitrary basis.
Assuming you can actually get in and get a clear view of the paintings and sculptures without getting shoulder barged, they are, of course, sublime. If you survive yet another queue, and paying another admission charge, the view from the top of the basilica is wonderful- a panorama of the square and the city behind.