Vatican City is the smallest independent country in the world, but its head of state – the Pope – is one of the most powerful people on Earth. Its area is 0.44 sq km and its population is only about 900 people. However, the Vatican is one of the most famous countries in the world and the most visited country in Europe. Long history, traditions, culture, religion, politics and even some mystery haunt this place.
St. Peter’s Square and the Basilica are the official entrance to the Vatican. The cathedral is one of the most colossal buildings I ever set foot in. It is the largest Catholic cathedral in Europe and one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. In front of it there are Peter and Paul, and in a circle around the square rise columns with sculptures of many other saints. This is where thousands of believers gather (and not only) to see the Pope. Between 10 and 10:30 every Wednesday the Pope appeared at the window of the cathedral to greet the people. You should know if you don’t want to be one of those who had gone to Rome and not seeing the Pope. Im one of them them because I chose August to visit the Vatican, and then all Italians are on vacation, and the Pope also, who in that day and hour was at his summer residence, but his greeting was broadcast on large screens outside the cathedral.
You should certainly visit the cathedral and don’t let the queue to scare you. The inconveniences are worth it because St. Peter’s Basilica is the most impressive monuments I have ever visited. Inside there is the masterpiece of Michelangelo – Pieta. Today, the statue is located behind bulletproof glass, because in the past a crazy man with a hammer tried to break it. Inside you will see also other works of art – from the most famous and best artists of Italy. In the crypt you can see the graves other popes. You can still see believers to cry and lay flowers at the grave of Pope John Paul II. Do not forget to go up to the dome of the cathedral. Climbing the narrow spiral staircase is hell, but the view from the terrace is worth seeing it – Its breathtaking!
If to enter St. Peter’s Cathedral takes between 30 and 60 minutes, on the queue in front of the Vatican museums you will wait at least two hours, maybe more. Be patient. Chaos continues inside, where you will find yourself shoulder to shoulder with Japanese, Indian, American, Europeans, people from every corner of the world. Perhaps this is the reason why I lost the charm of the tour. It’s hard to feel the atmosphere or enjoy the art that surrounds you. In the museum you can see almost everything – sculptures, paintings, pottery, monuments from different eras and civilizations. You can see also the Egyptian mummy or even stones brought from the moon by Apollo 11. Of course, the best part is the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo … The tour of the museum is long and tiring, but if you are a lover of art and history, do not forget to do it. Sunday admission is free if you decide to save money from tickets.
Yes, Vatican may be a small county. But its one of a kind.