But first: A Le$$on Learned
We were, of course, very early, so decided that an espresso and marmaletta were in order. We'll need plenty of energy for this day!
We chose a small espresso cafe on a side street a few blocks from the Vatican. We ordered our usual--two espressos and two pastries. The staff was so friendly, it was a lovely modern spot, and we settled right into those nice white leather chairs to enjoy our mini breakfast. After a quick trip to their "toilette" (also very nice and spotlessly clean), I went to the cash resgister to pay for our little snack. I handed the nice young man a 20 Euro note, and he gave me back just 2 Euros. I politely said "that was a 20, not a 10". He quickly informed me our total was 18 Euros. That's over $24!! For two small espressos and two small pastries?? Holy Moly! Those espressos were 6 Euros EACH--about $8.50-EACH! Now, I LOVE that good Italian espresso, but......
Lesson learned: If there is no price listed, ALWAYS ask! We foolishly assumed it would be about the same as we had been paying all over Italy.
Oh well! Nothing to do now, so we quickly put it out of our mind. We have a wonderful day ahead of us!
We walked the few blocks to the Vatican, and were greeted with THIS line, snaking around the wall, about 1 1/2 blocks long. These poor people were waiting to buy tickets.
The ticket holder line was much shorter, a soon we were inside the Vatican Museum. We exchanged our internet voucher for actual tickets, met up with our tour guide and were outfitted with our headphones.
Our first stop was a small courtyard set up with an in depth introduction to the Sistine Chapel. Since there is no talking allowed in the Chapel, our guide gave us a very interesting introduction to Michelangelo's masterpiece. She presented a very thorough explanation of the history of the Chapel, the painting, and shared interesting information about each area of the painting. Quite educational!
The main part of our tour was the Vatican Museum--it's HUGE! There are many, many parts to the museum, and they have an amazing collection of beautiful, ancient works of art. It would be impossible to post pictures of even a small portion, but here are a few of our favorite areas:
As usual, I loved the marble mosaic floors:
There were several marble statues, and even a few bronze: