After some much needed rest, we were up early again to head to the Vatican for our tour. This was another one we had scheduled in advance as we knew the lines for the general public entrance would be hours long. We would have a guide for 4.5 hours and also see a few areas that you couldn't normally go.
We hoped on the metro and easily found our meeting point.
We knew well in advance that this was one of the places where we had to have shoulders, knees, etc. covered. We had done some shopping before the trip, mostly because Adam needed some new shorts.. and I made a point to find a lightweight skirt and thin, linen top just for this day (although both are cute and can be worn again!)
Soon after meeting up with the group, we headed into Vatican City. We had to go through security, and it was really neat knowing we were technically walking into another country.
There was a pretty impressive model of the entire city just inside that we got to check out first to get the lay of the land.
We were soon heading outside to a courtyard where we got our fist glimpse of St. Peter's Basilica.
Fortunately, it wasn't as hot on this day... it helped that when we were outside we were in shade, and much of the tour was inside the buildings.
Despite neither of us being overly enthralled by history and art, we ended up really enjoying everything we learned. Our guide was excellent in sharing stories and telling us all about the things we were looking at throughout the tour.
Our favorite part was when we stood in front of a board showing the Sistine Chapel and all of the artwork. Tour guides aren't allowed to share in the Sistine Chapel, so they use these boards to explain what we would be seeing once inside. It was SO neat to learn all about this famous place.
After this, we started exploring some of the buildings. Our tour got us access to a tower that was used in the past to take the pope to his apartment a long time ago. We also got to see some great views of Rome from there. And then we moved on to seeing a LOT of art and artifacts as well as some former pope apartments and other such areas of the buildings.
Before long, we finally made our way into the Sistine Chapel. We were surprised at how small it was inside. It was also SO crowded. They're constantly running a recording saying that you can't talk or take pictures... which we felt like sorted of contradicted the purpose. I still took some pictures anyways because come on, it's the Sistine Chapel. And everyone else was doing it, so when in Rome, right?!
The pictures don't really show how gorgeous the place is! It was really cool to realize we were standing in the Sistine Chapel and looking at this famous work of Michelangelo.
From there, we ended out tour at St. Peter's. It's ginormous and there's no way to show how big it is in any of the pictures I took. It was really impressive. After our tour ended, we wandered around a bit more and took a few more pictures in the plaza out front.
We grabbed a bite of lunch and a gelato (of course). We went on and found the Spanish Steps so that we could mark it off our list as seen. It was definitely a "now we've seen it" sort of stop, haha.
Then we headed back to our hotel for our afternoon shower and nap. Seriously. Loved our naps.
We headed over to Piazza Navona to check the area out for the evening. We wandered around and found the Pantheon. We checked out the street artists and street vendors. And then we had one of the best meals we had while in Italy at a little cafe. We had good dinners most nights, but only because we spent a bit more than usual (it was our honeymoon after all!). Past that, we found the food in Italy to be pretty bland and just... not good.
After dinner, we wandered around the plaza a bit more before hopping in a cab back to our hotel. It had been another draining day so we were content to crash and get some more rest before leaving Rome in the morning for our last stop of the trip.