The description for that day says a local guide will lead you through the priceless art collections of the Vatican Museums, ending in the Sistine Chapel to spend time with Michelangelo's famous ceiling. A special VIP behind the scenes look at the Bramante Staircase. Later to St. Peter's Basilica, followed by a walking tour of Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Then have time to relax and absorb the atmosphere of Piazza Navona.
The HUGE number of chairs you see here in St. Peter's Square explains why the crowds were worse than usual the day we were there. Also, why I'm showing you these out of order. We had to delay our visit to The Vatican (which had been scheduled for early morning) due to a Papal Visit. To say is was a mad house would be an understatement. Even with our "special" entrance and moving ahead of many visitors, we weren't the only group and therefore it was extremely crowded, hot and difficult to move about or get decent pictures.
I don't do well it tight spaces with crowds so this was perhaps my least enjoyable part of the whole tour.
Tried to get a few shots over people's heads, as we shuffled along. Not very good pictures, as you can see.
But you can get a feel for the size, colors, and details of the visit.
Some of the art, as we made our way to The Chapel.
AND still making our way to The Sistine Chapel, where you're not permitted to take pictures; though we saw people doing it anyway.
There seats around the perimeter where you were suppose to be able to sit, and really look up, and take in the feel; but that wasn't possible. Terribly hot, crowded, and they kept yelling on mic to be quiet...people who wanted to exit were also having a difficult time of it. I was truly disappointed, as were many in our group. The tour group posted a reminder that morning that women couldn't wear shorts and no sleeveless. Great, not being Catholic, I didn't know about the sleeveless, and that was all I brought to Italy except the one short sleeve top that the airlines had ruined (another post to tell that story). Thankfully, Jeanie asked if I had a shawl ahead of time, which I did for warmth on the plane. They did actually stop a women in front of me who was not adequately covered up.
**Hope the large number of photo's isn't an issue with load time for this blog post...stay tuned for part II of Day 3, The Vatican and Rome.