No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel, at least in my opinion. There are however a few downsides that you should be prepared for before going.
- The lines are long. Like really loooooooooooooooong. We suggest you purchase Vatican entry tickets in advance and pay the extra fee to ‘skip’ the line. ‘Skip the line’ really just means you get to stand in a shorter line than general admission.
- Expect a crowd. Everyone wants to visit the Vatican and Sistine Chapel so be prepared to get jostled a bit, especially in the Sistine Chapel.
- Sadly, there are no photos allowed in the Sistine Chapel. This rule is in place for two key reasons. First to speed up the visit. If everyone stopped to take all the pictures they wanted, then the whole thing would take much much longer. Second, if you can’t take a photo you will be that much more likely to purchase a souvenir.
Once you have prepared yourself for these minor inconveniences you are ready to strain your neck gazing at the magnificent paintings that adorn the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The paintings do not disappoint. They are more than worth the neck-ache you will get.
If you really want to enhance your visit we suggest you do a little studying beforehand. Nikki read Michelangelo and the Pope Ceiling. The book is full of great information about all aspects of the Sistine Chapel. For instance, Michelangelo didn’t even want to paint the chapel.
When playing Civilization V, building the Sistine Chapel is a must do for me. Its +25% Culture in every city you have is hands down one of the best wonder bonuses in the game. I have been known to rage quit if an opponent somehow manages to build it before me.
Since we couldn’t take any photos of the Sistine Chapel, here are some photos of other areas of the Vatican which are full of stunning paintings, mosaics, and sculptures. You might even get lucky and see the Pope!