Exploring Vatican City In One Day

By: Valeria Ramos

At the center of the city of Rome lies the smallest state in the world, ruled by the Bishop of Rome - the Pope. Vatican City is home to St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums, all of which bring in around 5 million visitors each year. 

My sisters and I outside of St. Peter's Basilica

With so much to see in Vatican City, we spent a full day walking around in awe and taking lots of ceiling pictures. We started our day at the Vatican Museum, one of the largest art galleries in the world which consists of a total of 54 galleries of historic art, with the Sistine Chapel being the final gallery.

After walking through all those galleries, a break from the crowds and a moment to rest our feet was very necessary. The Vatican gardens are a perfect place to sit and relax while still enjoying some nice views of St. Peter's Basilica.

Making our way to St. Peter's Basilica, it was hard to believe that this gigantic and beautifully constructed church was built in the 1600s. The amazing exterior and interior of the church feature marble designs, sculptures and intricate details from the minds of Michelangelo and other Italian Renaissance artists and architects.

Despite the large crowds of tourists throughout the city, you won't find yourself stuck in long lines to get into the Vatican museums, and a stop inside St. Peter's Basilica is completely free.  If by this time in you're trip to the Vatican you're somehow still feeling energetic, you can buy tickets to climb over 300 steps to St. Peter's Dome for a panoramic view of Rome.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

No matter how much my feet hurt at the end of our day exploring Vatican City, taking a taxi back to our hotel was never an option. The best way to explore Rome is undoubtedly on foot, and even if you get a little lost here and there, you will always be surrounded by charming streets, historic architecture and friendly people who will happily direct you to the nearest Ristorante.