The Sistine Chapel and Via Appia

We had the alarm set for 6:30 am on Saturday in order to get to the Vatican museum early. When we were in Rome last year we spent hours in the museum but did not see the Sistine chapel because they were electing the Pope. We had tickets for 9 am but had no idea how long the lineup would be. They finally let us in at about 8:20 am after we had been sitting watching 100’s of guided tours entering before us. We sat at a nice little sidewalk cafe, where we were grossly overcharged for two coffees (about $25 Canadian, good thing I didn’t have the croissant) The plan worked well for seeing the chapel, we made a beeline for the Sistine Chapel, Alain had done his research on the short route to get there. When we arrived there were only a few dozen people in there so we managed to really enjoy the audio guide and have a good look at everything. It was beautiful, but in a way I was underwhelmed. I think they keep the light low to protect the paintings.
When we got out the lineup for those with no tickets was wrapping 1/2 km around the block. If they had made internet reservations they would not be spending hours lining up in the sun. Thanks Alain for doing the homework on this.
We spent a little more time in the Vatican gardens then decided to head out of town to the Via Appia Antica. It is just a few miles south of Rome, easily accessible by bus and amazingly beautiful. Within a few minutes of the centre of Rome you are out in the country, walking along an old Roman road, flowers cascading from old buildings, beautiful vines, villas and tall trees. We visited the catacombs, which was very interesting and not creepy at all. We had our own tour guide as we went for the French tour. So far, via Appia is my favourite part of Rome, which ironically is getting out of Rome. I think I’m a country girl at heart.

Via Appia Antica Park

One thought on “The Sistine Chapel and Via Appia”

  1. Yes, I think sometimes our expectations are set too high or the feeling is not right. We walked into a church in St Blaise in the black forest with no expectations and it was breathtaking because I expected nothing.

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