Vatican City – Peter and the Pope

Vatican City is an independent state, home of the Catholic Church and of course where you’ll find the Pope. It is entirely surrounded by Rome and a tourist must-go. Lots of people flock there because of popular attractions like St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. As well as those for me one of the reasons and a bucket list item was to step foot and explore in the world’s smallest country!

We were there for Christmas so naturally had to go see the Pope speak. He makes two appearances during the holidays – one on Christmas Eve for mass and another on Christmas. We decided to go on Christmas and once out of the subway were met with an army of others all shuffling towards the square. Although there was a queue and fuss through two security checkpoints, once in the actual square it wasn’t too busy. All kinds of people were there from nuns, religious folk and confused tourists. We had no idea what he was saying (sadly no translation on the jumbotrons) but looking around at the people crying and literally baiting on his every word – it was inspiring. I am personally not religious but so glad I got to witness and experience him talking with such a devoted audience.

A highlight for me was going into St. Peter’s Basilica and climbing to the top dome. For a little fee you can go to the tippy top and it is an adventure in itself. The pathway up there is claustrophobic, uneven and bizarre. There are a lot of stairs and parts where you’re in the base of the dome so the walls are curved/indented (it feels like you’re in a crazy house). The views though are stunning and well worth it. Before you get outside you reach the inner-section of the dome and are able to see the mosaic tiling up close which is awesome. Being able to see the detail put in there (from below you would have no idea) was really cool. Then once you’ve squeezed to the top the view of the square is ridiculous. You can see for miles and also walk 360 round and see into private gardens and the museum.

The Vatican Museums are a complex of different galleries and collections. The most famous part is the Sistine Chapel, probably due to Michelangelo’s frescoes. Unfortunately photography is banned from inside but it is absolutely mind-boggling. We must’ve spent a good half an hour sitting in there with our eyes jumping around not sure where to look. Imagine walking into a cube and every possible space that could be painted has been. In a weird comparison think Tangled and her being locked in the tower with no more wall space to paint. The amount of precision, detail and skill to paint some of those surfaces so beautifully is baffling.

Once you get past that masterpiece the museums house exceptional art, sculptures and ornaments. You should dedicate several hours here as it is a maze/one-way system round the complex. One of my favourite rooms was the Gallery of Maps. It’s a narrow hall but covering the two walls are painted topographical maps of Italy. It is so intense and the ‘sheep’ of tourists and guides really slowed down to shuffle through here as everyone was looking up and around. I would recommend going with a guide as there is so much significance here and it’s nice being on the knowing side oppose to trying to eavesdrop on someone explaining. We had to rush through here to catch our flight and unfortunately didn’t get to give the place the time it deserved – learn from my mistake and make this a priority!

A day or even afternoon from your Rome adventures should be spent here as a minimum. Not only to say you visited two countries but also for the pure uniqueness of it. The history and religious significance (even being a Jew myself) is wonderful to experience and immerse yourself in. If you want to check out what I got up to in Rome you can here and here (and why not Pompeii).


Nicosia - Borders & Mosques

Day Out - Aphrodite's Rock

Paphos - Castle & Sights

Day Out - Cinque Terre

Florence - Duomo & David

Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day Out - Mayfield Lavender Farm

Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

Yangshou - Li River

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

Flåm - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima



Kyoto 2


Tokyo & DisneySea


Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Nações

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff