3 Things I Learned From My Visit to Vatican City

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1.  Riding in a cab in Rome is a little scary.

I’m thankful that I don’t get car sick because taking a cab from the Capitoline Museum (by the exit of The Forum) to Vatican City was the craziest ride I’ve ever been on.  I’m not sure if there are traffic laws in Rome but if there are people don’t seem to follow them.  There is no sense of having your own lane.  Drivers just weave around without much care to the cars next to them.  Also, there are a ton of mopeds that are worse than the cars, squeezing into spots on the road they really shouldn’t be trying to get to.  I also learned that it is important to tell the cab driver exactly where you want to be dropped off.  Telling him/her you want to be dropped off at Vatican City will not be specific enough.  We told our cab driver to drop us off at Vatican City but we were dropped off outside the Vatican City Museum.  The museum entrance is essentially the outside walls of Vatican City.  In order to get to the front, you have to walk all the around.  So, this was our first mistake.

2.  You can’t spontaneously take a trip to Vatican City and expect to see the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter’s Basilica.

My second mistake was not doing enough research on visiting Vatican City.  I thought I could walk right into the museum with maybe a 15 minute or so wait.  I was extremely wrong.   I didn’t even see the end of the line that led you into St. Peter’s Basilica.  The line for the Vatican City Museum was just as long.  I loved doing things spontaneously on this trip because it always seemed to be more fun.  However, I now know that a little bit of planning will make a trip more enjoyable and time won’t be as wasted.

3.  Don’t trust the “tour guides” that will let you “skip all the lines.”

Once we met up with the others that were dropped off in the correct spot, we tried to get a group deal to get into the museum and St. Peter’s Basilica.  We met a very nice woman that said she would give us a deal for our group.  I don’t remember what the price was but she guaranteed that we would be able to skip the line because we were in a group.  We were very close to paying her when she took us over to I assume was her boss to check the price again.  Then, she told us a different, more expensive price.  At one point, the woman was trying to explain the pricing and her boss told her to be quieter.  It all seemed very shady.  We finally decided to just look around and accepted that we wouldn’t be able to get in the church or museum.  As we walked away they continued to try and give us a deal.  They were worse than a vacuum cleaner sales man.  They were very convincing and I’m sure people have fallen to their scams before.  It’s a shame that activities like this occur in such a holy place and it shows that you always have to watch out for people who try to take advantage of others.

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Despite a disappointing trip to Vatican City, I enjoyed looking around the outside and hopefully one day I will be able to go in St. Peter’s Basilica and see Michelangelo’s Pieta and his Sistine Chapel.  I will plan for it too!!


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