Friday 9th August
It all started with a 7:55 train. We were up early and out of Sorrento first thing this morning; and we were pleasantly surprised to find we’d booked premium seats for the fast train to Rome.
These pleasant surprises keep happening because we booked everything so long ago we now just turn up and see what Katy and Mitch of the past decided was a good idea.
We arrived in Rome at 11 and walked the (what felt long) distance to our hotel. We’re staying in an area called Monti which is the oldest in Rome. It also happens to be 5 minutes from the colosseum. Luckily our room was the first to be cleaned so we were able to check in and have showers before heading back out.
We got some lunch at a nearby restaurant and made our way to the colosseum in the hopes of seeing it today. Unfortunately the next available slot was at 5pm and this was 1:30pm, and with a booking for the Vatican museum at night we would be pressed to make it to Vatican City in time. We’re going to try again tomorrow earlier in the morning and see what time we can get; but since we were all dressed up with nowhere to go. We still got some pics though.
We did a bit of shopping (mostly for the air con) and got some gelato while we strolled Via Corso before meandering our way back to the hotel to cool down. We passed the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain by accident but tried not to stop for too long as we planned to do them in our next couple of days at a less busy time. Saying that we got a few photos on the Spanish steps since they weren’t too crowded.
[side note: it was 33 today but felt like 38 so we were properly melting].
After an episode of The Money Heist (highly recommend btw) we got ready to head to Vatican City. Thankfully we’re close to a metro that goes directly to central station so it only took us about 25 mins to get to the Vatican. We ended up being 20 minutes early for the doors opening and there was a big queue already so we got our space and waited in the still hot setting sun.
You wouldn’t believe how big the queue got! We booked to go to “Night Openings” in the evening as it’s supposed to be much less busy and thus less hot; although I was getting worried that it would be like the last time I went in which I was basically squished like a sardine and tried unsuccessfully to keep up with the guide. Thankfully even with the queue it was a much more enjoyable experience this time around. Mitch rented one of the audio guides and we strolled around the rooms picking out the sculptures, paintings and tapestries that we wanted to hear more about. It was nice to be able to stop and take time to look around, especially at the ceilings and floors. It would be so easy to miss the effort that goes into these two areas of a room but in the Vatican definitely take the time to admire the frescos and mosaics if it’s quiet enough to look down.
The night openings for the Vatican museum are only available Friday nights between April and October.
Overall I would highly recommend going to the Vatican at night. Comparatively for me it was much more enjoyable and relaxing that during the day. However; Mitch and I can’t agree whether some of the corridors/rooms were closed to us at night or whether they are always restricted access during the day as well. That would be my only critique; you may not see the entirety of the museum exhibits in the evening session. We weren’t too fussed about reading every plaque and analysing every tapestry though; we just wanted a general overview of the museum and that’s what we got. Saying that it still took us 3 hours.
Here are my illicit Sistine chapel photos. They’re quite strict with the no photos rules which if you’re using flash I understand but this is one of the most talked about pieces of art in the world and to not be allowed to remember it in photos seems a shame that they’re trying to keep it to themselves.
We finished with a hearty McDonalds as we were very thirsty and our tummies were rumbling. So we’re in bed with tired feet and bantering back and fourth some good philosophical questions from today.
Fino alla prossima volta – Katy xxx