Roman Holiday : 10 Juni 2016

Vatican City, the city inside of the city, the smallest sovereign state in the world.
We started 2nd day with early morning queue to Vatican Museums. During queuing we’ve seen all nationality, there were Korean mother and son behind us, talking too much about everything (please watch out what you are saying, there are people who can understand your language so well…) and 3 very brave old French couples who jumped the queue. And so many tour guides offering helps with “small” amount of money. What a beauty of 2 hours of queuing!

When you beat this long queue, you would get a chance to experience of the world’s great art collections with another queues inside (never ending…) but you would think it was worth to queue. You will never manage to see everything over 7km of exhibitions in one visit so we checked on the museum map what we want to see before we moved on with cup of ice coffee and it was necessary to be calm down after and before the queue. My favourite exhibition was Galleria delle Carte Geografiche (The Gallery of Maps) and Sistine Chapel was also devastating. From both rooms, you will get little bit of neck-ache afterwards. But please don’t miss them!

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After half day in Vatican Museums, we walked to the St Peter’s Basilica. As soon as you arrive there, you would be amazed by the architecture and its magnificent scale inside and outside. St Peter’s Basilica is one of the world’s biggest, richest and most spectacular cathedrals. You can not avoid the queue for security check (admission is free as all the churches are) but it wasn’t that bad so don’t worry.

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When we were in, both were speechless by its greatness and richness of master pieces in every corner. We just stood in front of baldachin and looked around quietly for some time. After being under the Michelangelo’s Dome, we climbed up to see the view of Rome in the top of the St Peter’s Dome (Cupola). It is 119m high and you can climb up by stairs or lift. Well, we already walked almost “7km” today so we saved our energy for later with the lift. First you can walk around the inside of the Dome looking at the incredible mosaic art and then climb up through the narrow stairs to the very top of the Dome. When you are up there finally, the view is indeed wonderful.

Behind the one day trip in Vatican City, we were heading to Trastevere through Gianicolo (Janiculum), a hill in the west of Rome, offering another superb views. According to the Lonely Planet, Trastevere is one of Rome’s best-looking and most vivacious neighbourhoods. And I agree with my virtual travel guide-friend, the place was alive and colourful with street sellers and artists even if it was evening time. And luckily we found out a authentic Italian restaurant on the back street, called Little Osteria (the name is quite common so you can not find in google this particular one, sorry!). It runs by 3 ladies (I assume they are mothers and daughters in 3 generation or so…), the food was more likely mama’s home dish rather than well decorated dish in the posh or typical restaurant which gave us more trust. Ah… I miss the food I’ve had that night, yum yum yum.

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It was hell of walking trip today with so much visual of Rome in the head, I was a bit exhausted and grumpy by all the mistakes which we made on the journey (such as miss-reading map and so on which you made normally on your trip) but after good food and nice air of the night at Trastevere, all my stress was gone and got new spirit for another day in Rome!

Photography by Paul Kubalek (More photos on Flickr)

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