Tues. Sept 4, 2018. Day 2: This morning, we grabbed a quick breakfast (which was complimentary as part of our BnB at the neighbouring café).
To my surprise, this was a very popular café that served lots of pastries and coffee and not just dinky ones. We were running late for our 12:30 p.m. booking for the Vatican Museum (Musei Vaticani), so we hurriedly enjoyed our cream and chocolate croissants as well as a cappuccino and caffe latte. The croissants were so good!! The beverages as well. We enjoyed like the locals did by standing and eating at the counter.
The best part about where we were staying was that it only took 15 minutes of walking to get to the Vatican Museum (Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma RM, Italy). We had bought our tickets online already (€17 per person) so we only had to exchange the voucher with the actual tickets which allowed us entry. It was great and while there were a lot of people, the waiting time for us was minimal.
We also received audio guides which was nice to learn more about each exhibit as we walked through them.
The first exhibit was the Egyptian collection by the Romans which was very extensive.
The entire Museum Vatican was gigantic and in all, we spent 3.5 hours walking through it. The highlight was definitely the Sistine Chapel where we saw Michelangelo’s famous work on the ceiling. There was so much anticipation built into it as we had to walk through many other rooms and galleries and exhibits to see it. (The Gallery of Maps was exquisite too. It reminded me of the Palace of Versailles in Paris.)
To my surprise, the famous work was actually only one part of many all together painted on the ceiling. It was a huge room (chapel) where lots of people were standing inside. Photography was not allowed at all and the attendants inside kept reminding us of that. So many people were standing or sitting (if they were lucky enough to get a seat) to enjoy the ceiling art. It was nothing like I’ve seen before.
The collection of vehicles that the Popes have ridden in through the decades was also interesting and an eye opener into how fast technology has transformed our modern day society.
We had a small lunch at the cafeteria where we enjoyed a panini sandwich, cappuccino, tomato chips, and another espresso.
We walked towards St. Peter’s Square (Piazza San Pietro) and enjoyed a gelato and popped into McDonald’s on the way there.
The lemon and hazelnut gelatos were pretty good but not amazing and melted too quickly. We have to find another quality gelato place to live up to its name.
The McDonald’s had a lot of items not seen in Canadian branches! This included two types of beer, chicken wings, mozzarella McBites, McToast (cheese and ham burger), lots of cakes, mini donuts, pastries, and more.
We ordered the beer, chicken wings, and Mozzarella McBites to try. The chicken wings were surprisingly delicious! They were a good size and roasted with a good amount of seasoning. I would totally come back for more wings.
The beer was all right and I guess you can’t expect much for a €3 beer anyway.
The Mozzarella McBites didn’t have a satisfying cheese string pull but were decent in taste.
It was so fun to try these at the McDonald’s!
Next, we visited St. Peter’s Square and Basilica (Piazza San Pietro, 00120, Vatican City) which was tremendously gorgeous and grand. The fountains and the guardians all around the square was such a sight to see. We had the best weather again today and especially so at 5 and 6 p.m. when the sun was still out but not hot.
We visited the Castle of the Holy Angel (Castel Sant’Angelo) (Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma RM, Italy) as well and browsed a market full of souvenirs before turning back as the sun was setting to where our BnB was.
We found Trattoria Da Sora Gina, a traditional Roman kitchen that was recommended by our BnB host. It was a nice-looking restaurant from the outside and once again we chose the outdoor seating to enjoy our dinner at.
Click here to read about our dinner at Da Sora Gina.
Day 3 tomorrow should be even more eventful with lots of sightseeing at well-known landmarks in Rome! 😀
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Read about what we did on various days of our Eurotrip!