Just using this next photo, who can guess what one of our first scheduled tours in Rome was? Well, technically, not in Rome, but still in Rome …
This was another instance where it seriously pays to buy your tickets ahead of time. You know when you are in the vicinity of the Holy See when you see the scores of people lining the street waiting to get in.
We walked right past them all, and save for a short wait to go through the metal detector, we never experienced a hold up. It feels like all the big museums and art galleries have metal detectors these days. You can’t get in without heading through some form of security.
Also, when traveling around, be aware that most big-draw-card venues won’t allow you to carry anything bigger than a handbag. You will be expected to store your backpack, so I wouldn’t personally bother with anything that big.
These reliqaries all hold pieces of the One True Cross, and are just outside the door as you exit the Sistine Chapel. I would show you photos of the Sistine Chapel, but it’s the one thing in the Vatican you’re not allowed to take photos of, so you’ll have to Google some naughty person’s photos. Plenty of people do take photos, and as you stand there staring upwards in open mouthed wonder all you can hear is the guards yelling; “NO PHOTOS!” and “SHHH! QUIET” over the address system.
The Vatican Museums is a huge tour, and even doing the “short” version with the audio tour takes four hours. Like Florence, I’m not sure there is an “off-season”, so it is full of people, but with a little patience you can see everything up close.
As we concluded the tour we were both exhausted. There is a significant amount that can be absorbed at the Vatican, luckily I had spotted a neat little deli in my pre-trip planning that was just around the corner from the Museums! And we headed off for some comfort food.
I can’t speak highly enough of this shop! I would recommend it to everyone near and far, I would (and am I guess) sing its praises from the mountain tops! The Paciotti Salumeria. I found them on trip advisor in initially, and all the reviews were amazing, and accurate!
The tiny deli is packed with every kind of cured meat, and all the cheeses imaginable! Owned and run by three brothers who obviously adore what they do, they will talk in depth with you (if that is your desire) about everything they have in stock, and then put together a sample plate for you to have for lunch, or just a sandwich! Himself and I had been planning on taking home a complete leg of parma ham, but we didn’t think even we could finish a whole one without help!
Go! See them, eat all their food, and tell them George sent you! I think this meal was the best value from our entire Italy trip!