This article is brought to you by The Roman Guy.
About two months ago, my dad decided he was going to come to visit me here in Italy and bring his girlfriend along who has never been to Italy and grew up Catholic. Obviously, we knew we had to take her to the Vatican and go through the museum the right way. You see, my dad and I had been through the museums before, but it was just the two of us- no guide. It was about two days after this conversation with my dad that The Roman Guy, a tour company who offers tons of different cities throughout Rome and the Vatican, reached out to me. It was like fate! With that, I knew we had to get ourselves a guided tour so we could truly understand what we were seeing- so we did!
At 7:30am, we met our guide Raf outside the museum entrance. The particular tour I took, called “Detailed Itinerary Vatican In a Day Tour with Privileged Access“. The coolest part about this was that we got to skip the line, whereas I remember going before and hating every second of that (very long) line. We proceeded to wander through the museum, learning about Michelangelo and his personality and how that showed in his art. After some time in the Sistine Chapel, we moved through the museums with relative ease seeing as we were there so early.
We passed painting, statues, tapestries, and more as we passed through the Vatican Art Gallery. While I had seen these works of art before, it was incredible to learn about their history and meaning. I was finally able to attach names to faces and understand why these works of art were so important and remain relative today. From there, we moved on and made our way to the Carriage Pavilion, AKA where the Pope-Mobiles throughout history go to rest.
I absolutely ADORED this part of the tour. It was an area of the Vatican Museums that I missed when I came without a guide, I had no idea it existed! This part of the tour led us through time as we saw the advancements and evolution of the Pope-Mobile. From horse-drawn carriages to the box-like, bullet-proof ones that they have now, there was so much to see in this little secret area of the museums. We were the only ones in the area until the last five minutes- that’s how secret it seems to be!
From there, Raf showed us some apartments of previous Popes, letting us in on secrets of dislike and bribery that took place within the Vatican walls. We learned about how the Pope is chosen, symbolism within the Vatican, and how intricate everything really is there. While I did feel slightly rushed throughout the tour (this is not a tour for those who want to sit and admire for more than a few minutes!), I was ecstatic to finally feel as if I understood what I was seeing, not just blindly walking blindly throughout a museum that requires an attention to detail.
Following our time admiring the art, we made our way outside to get to Saint Peter’s. We walked through the basilica and down into the Papal Tombs. This is where many Popes are put to rest and their coffins and bodies lay. It’s an interesting thing to see, knowing that all these people who had so much power all end up in the same place that everyone else does.
Overall, if you are looking for a tour jam-packed with information, I do recommend this tour. It’s quick (sometimes too quick), but you see just about everything and learn more than you’ll ever be able to absorb. I do wish they had added at least one more hour to the tour so we could actually take the time to enjoy and appreciate what we were seeing (at one point I was having to walk at a super exaggerated pace just to keep up), but overall I was satisfied. I learned more than I would have ever thought possible, and it was all those little tidbits that they don’t teach you in the textbooks! If you are interested in learning more about this tour or getting tickets, check it out here!
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