Surrounded by il bel paese, Vatican City will take you half a day to explore. The two biggies are St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums and below will be some tips on how to make the most of your trip, in a short space of time.
St Peter’s Basilica
When in Rome, do as the Romans and when in Vatican, COVER UP. You wouldn’t believe the amount of foreign tourists who rocked up to St Peter’s in tiny denim shorts and a tank top, only to be turned away or have to buy an expensive shawl to cover their bare arms and legs. Nothing should be worn above the knee and shoulders need to be covered up.
St Peter’s Dome
This isn’t something I realised existed until reading it on another travel website. To the right of the Basilica there should be a sign that says “La Coppola di San Pietro” and it costs €5 to walk the 300+ steps or 7 euros to take the lift. I very nearly missed the stunning views from the top and stopped here, thinking this was the end:
Up here overlooks the Basilica, but don’t stop until you see these steps!
And you’ll end up here:
The quickest itinerary of Vatican City includes going to the Vatican Museums before the Basilica. These are a 15 minute walk away in Rome and once in the Sistine Chapel (€15 standard price, subsidised for certain groups, i.e. students) after looking at The Creation of Adam turn around and head towards the exit on the right, which will say “Tour groups only”. This is a shortcut back to the Basilica which links the Museums and Vatican City, just pretend you’re in a tour group 😉