From America to Rome- Part 3 | The Vatican

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Vatican Museum

My Last Story of Rome…

Remember to read Part 1 and Part 2 before reading this one. I wouldn’t want you to NOT know the full story of what happened during my stay in Rome!

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Riding the subway to the Vatican Museum
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Vatican Museum (a small part)

The Vatican History

Today was my favorite day of the trip. Yes I loved shopping and touring but today… today we visited the site to why most tourists come to Rome… The Vatican! For a brief synopsis of the Vatican… imagine receiving a history and a Roman Catholic theologically lesson merged together. You will learn why the Romans worshiped idol gods such as Apollo or Athena. I’m talking- waayyyyy before Christ! Moreover, it led to the destruction of most of Rome via fire as the rise of Christianity emerged. There is too much to learn in this one blog post. If you are a history enthusiast as am I, click here to learn more from the History Channel’s version of the Vatican. In addition- by accident– I came across a Netflix movie I watched, way before I knew I was visiting Rome called “Peter the Redemption.” It will give you the Hollywood version of how Christianity was slowly introduced into Rome and why Apostle Peter was executed.

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St. Peters Basilica; You will allowed to sit in silence for worship (no pictures allowed in the Sistine Chapel)
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Artwork in St Peters Basilica; Jesus ascending to Heaven

Take a Guided Tour

You may tour the museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica on your own but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you came all this way, then you obviously want to know learn more, than just looking at statues and art work. Tip: Spend the extra $20 or so to be upgraded to have an actual tour guide OR at least rent the portable radio. You will hear the computerized version as you pass by different areas of the museum. We opted to have an actual tour guide walk us through the areas as he explained in detail the significance of each site. NOTE: As you walk up to the tourist attraction, you will get bombarded by hustlers on the street selling everything from guided tour packages to specific clothing. I will speak more on the hustlers in a minute but again, don’t be cheap! This may be a once in a lifetime experience so get the full effect by paying for a tour guide of some sort.

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I had no idea what his name was but he was good 🙂
msqueenro in rome
Plenty of Greek statues in the Vatican

Do Your Research

It is worth the money b/c you will get candid information that wouldn’t receive walking around on your own or even with a radio. Using a radio, you can’t ask questions. Here is an example:

  • Without a Tour Guide/Radio: You are frivolously walking around wondering how the Romans went from worshiping pagan gods to Christianity.
  • With a Tour Guide: Our tour guide not only went into to detail about how and why; he also mentioned why there are statues with covered private body parts and some that are not. As the Pope dynasty arose, it was disgraceful to show such vulgar areas in public, even if it was on a non-living piece of artwork.

Touching back as to why you should also conduct research prior to the visiting the (any) attraction, you possibly could save money. We paid $55 each. Tip: I cringe at the fact, if we had thought to look up the information online prior to going, we may would have gotten the prices cheaper.

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Greek Statues
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Artwork on the ceiling! Can you imagine the back pain!
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Greek god Apollo

Conduct More Research- The Dress Code

Consequently, if you don’t want to get turned away in the middle of your tour… conduct thorough research. What do I mean? Tip: Women AND men have to have shoulders covered and bottoms that covered pass your knees. If you did not respect the dress code of the chapel, guards will ask you not to come in- which also means… money wasted. Again, if you had a tour guide they would have told you the dress code prior to entering. Worse case, you could have approached one of the hustlers to buy a shawl. Thankfully, I did my research; this is why I wore long dresses every day in 80 degree weather 🙁 and brought my kimono every where in case we wanted to visit any churches. Remember, there a churches EVERY WHERE in Rome. Outside of the churches, you can dress casual. I seen everything from short shorts to cut off tank tops for the guys to crop tops for the women.

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I was in the church so I had to wear the shawl. (sorry for the grainy picture)

Get your Hustle On

So I mentioned a few times about hustlers. Yes… you will be approached by hustlers every day, many times of day during your visit in Rome. Yes; they can be annoying but at the end of the day… for some of them that is their main source of money so I understand the hustle. You will get approached by men selling water (which honestly this I appreciated the most as hot as it was); shawls (again a good one for those that didn’t have  a cover up); to souvenirs like jewelry or purses. Tip: They can be aggressive- meaning, you will get asked more than once. Shoot, they may even follow you for a few steps until you say yes or “get away!” I’m not saying be nasty, but you will have to be aggressive back or act like you don’t see them. If you are one to entertain the street hustle, then make sure to carry Euros (cash).

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Euros
msqueenro in rome
Fiume Tevere (Roman Castle); I was definitely getting a picture of this!

My Overall Experience of Rome

  • Would I go again? Yes, but after I visit other cities in Italy like Milan or Venice. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be high on my priority list. I loved the history and culture but there were other parts that I’m like… ewww. In my opinion, Rome is considered a very dirty city. There is graffiti everywhere- way more than I’ve seen even in the worse parts of NYC and they do not believe in cleaning up their streets.

msqueenro in romeThere was so much graffiti every where you looked.

  • Then why would I go back? There are many other sites to see such as the Trevi Fountain or the Roman Forum. For a 4 day trip we hit up the 2 main sites and saved the rest for another time.
  • What was my favorite day? My favorite day was day 3. Visiting the Vatican gave me Roman culture and history all in one day.
  • What was my least favorite experience? The hustlers; if I’m annoyed to the extreme I can come off as being mean but I don’t mean to be that way. I also didn’t like the fact restaurants aren’t open in the middle of day. If you were hungry, you would have to snack until 7pm when they opened.
  • What was my favorite item to eat? You are pretty much limited if you want authentic Italian food to pizza and pasta. Since I am not a pasta person, my favorite item was the pizza. There are so many types to choose from that you are bound to get a different one each day.

My overall Royal Review of Rome deserves a 4/5 Star Queen Rating. I am eternally grateful I was able to go for an early birthday trip! If you would like to read of other Destinations MsQueenRo has embarked on click here. If you would like to read more Royal Reviews by MsQueenRo click here.

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St Peter’s Square; This where the Pope speaks!

Please Provide Feedback: This was my biggest Royal Review yet! I would love to do more but only if I knew you enjoyed it. Please provide feedback as to why you liked this series and what tip you would like added into my destination review.

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8 Comments

  1. You took some lovely pictures of a beautiful city! Seeing all your lovely photos is making this girl want to go on vacation to Europe! And while I would love to visit Rome, I think my dream destination would be Paris! My hubby and I are French so what better place for us to be than in the city of love speaking the language of love, lol!
    (Yes, I am a hopeless romantic, lol!)

    • Rachel, I’m with you with Paris LOL. Don’t worry, I will soon visit there as well. I’m happy you enjoyed this post and yes, you will enjoy it as well. Take a trip one day.

  2. I loved the pictures, it looks like you had a great time and learned a lot as well. If I ever decide to visit Rome I will take your advise and get a tour guide as well as researching for prices and dress codes!

    • Yes, Afua, you can purchase one for $5 from one of the hustlers if need be but hopefully will read this prior to going so they will have their own 😉 Thank you for reading!

  3. All three portions were GREAT! Wonderful job on describing your experiences and giving tips. I actually am a bit fearful on international travel but this helped to get my mind going on possibly planning a trip. Overall, I felt as if I was getting to experience some portions with you and I thought that was pretty cool. 🤗 I’m glad you got to enjoy this trip for your birthday month! I look forward to reading about many more.

    • You haven’t lived until you travel abroad Tierra LOL! Find someone that is comfortable and travel with them for your first time. You will enjoy and become addicted. Thank you for reading every part and enjoying the series!

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