The Vatican Museums are located inside Vatican City and they contain masterpieces of painting, sculpture and other works of art collected by the popes through the centuries. The Museum is also home to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Here is my list of tips and tricks to surviving the Vatican:
Get There Early- I am generally not an early riser, so I waited in line during a pretty busy time. I recommend getting to the Vatican just before the museum opens at 7am. By doing this you will avoid the line and heat.
Dress Appropriately- The dress code for visiting the Vatican is the same as visiting any other church in Italy. Both men and women visiting must wear clothing that covers their knees and shoulders. The Vatican has very strict dress codes, so if you make it to the front, but aren’t dressed correctly, you will be turned away.
Stay Hydrated- Waiting in the 2-3 hour line can be draining, especially in the midst of summer. Be sure to bring a few water bottles with you to stay hydrated during your wait.
Eat Before- Before you get in line, EAT A BIG MEAL. I was starving while waiting, because I didn’t eat prior to visiting Vatican City. Do yourself and everyone around you a favor and avoid being hangry.
Understand Where Photography Is/Isn’t Allowed- In most areas of the museum, photography is welcomed. However, when you enter the Sistine chapel, you CANNOT take any photos, and you must maintain silence.
Wear Comfortable Shoes- The museum is HUGE, so make sure you have comfortable shoes on. Viewing the entire city can take upwards of 3-4 hours (not including waiting in line).
Take Sightseeing Slowly– It’s rarely a good idea to try to rush through everything. The Vatican has so much history and beautiful architecture that you will regret not taking the time to embrace it.
Know That It Will Be Hot And Crowded- This is one of the top tourist destination in Italy. Therefore, there will be many people there trying to see the same things as you. Also, not all of the rooms have AC, so get ready to sweat!
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