Exploring the Vatican is one of my favourite things to do in Rome. It is a place full of religion, mystery and beauty. The pure opulence of the architecture and art is mesmerising. Every time I step inside, all I can think about is how? How did they build this? How did they furnish the inside? How did they tile the mosaics and paint the murals? It is the work of a genius and Italy’s most spectacular Cathedral. Inside you will find the masterpieces of Michelangelo’s Pietà, his soaring dome, and Bernini’s 29 metre high baldachin over the papal altar.
Unknowingly we had chosen a day where there was no entry fee, and the Pope was holding a liturgy, which was amazing to experience but it did mean that there were lengthy queues. We first entered St Peter’s Basilica and then climbed the 551 stairs to the top of the Dome. The climb is worth it, as you receive sweeping views over the Vatican and Rome. If you are claustrophobic though, this may not be your thing as some of the walkways are very narrow.