It would be very difficult to catch the Pope during your vacation, but Vatican City is a worthy destination that brings out the spirituality in almost everyone who sets foot on such Holy land. You will need to set aside a full half day at minimum.

Piazza San Pietro: Upon arrival at the main square, take in the enormity of the Basilica and pretend you’re listening to the Pope pass on his words. You’ll notice a long line up heading into the Basilica but it moves fairly quickly.

Basilica di San Pietro: Once you’re through with the line up and security checks, you can tour the interior of the basilica for free. I would also recommend doing the 1 hour climb (370 stairs) – I mean, after all those other Duomos, you should be a pro by now right? There’s also an elevator lift option for you lazies! Once you get to the top, feast your eyes on the view of Vatican City. It felt electric and a bit eerie once I aligned myself with the pointed Obelisk.

Musei Vaticani: In here, you will find Michaelangelo’s masterpiece painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. You won’t see this room until you get to the end of the museum, but it’s neck-wrenchingly beautiful. If you have poor eyesight, you might want to buy a pair of binoculars. This room is always super packed, so try to find a seat along the sides and take a breather from this overwhelming piece. Purchasing tickets in advance is a must, and be sure to show up for your time slot to avoid the monstrous line up. There are numerous galleries with impressive creations that you won’t want to miss either, so make sure you allocate enough time (about 2-3 hours total).

Mail a Postcard: Get a special stamp from Vatican City and mail your loved ones a postcard! There are plenty of souvenir shops and postal boxes in Vatican City. Postcards are 0.50 Euro each and stamps are about 1.20 Euro.

And onto the final destination – the legendary empire that is Rome! That’s Days 13, 15 and 16.

Interested in other cities?

Pisa & Lucca
Capri Island
Sorrento & Positano & Amalfi & Ravello
Return to the suggested itinerary and train travel guide.