<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Rome visit, December 2009

Casa Walrath in Napoli

Rome 2010

We took the IC train from Aversa to Roma-Termini, getting in at about 9:30 in the morning. A quick stop at the ticket kiosk, and we were on the "A" line to St. Peter's.

When we arrived, our first plan was to attend Mass at the 11 am service. But, that plan changed when we saw the line into the basilica wrapped around the square one and one-half times. We did pass through the lines so we could look at the huge crèche in the center of St. Peter's Square.

Next, we figured that we'd walk around to the Vatican Museums and walk through them. That's when we saw the line to the museum started at the side entrance to St. Peter's Square! April and I discussed what we wanted to do (since I had forgotten to purchase the tickets online the day before), and we figured, Vatican City map

"how long can that line be?" Well, the distance should have told us that. Two hours and 15 minutes later, we enter the museums, get tickets, and start the hike up to the display levels.

The museum was packed with 'guided tours' (read that as folks who have made appointments for a visit, purchased a block of tickets, and then race these groups through the museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the basilica, all in 2 hours. Oh, and for a mere 40€ (the tickets are 15€ each, and group purchases are even lower under certain circumstances). These groups of 20-30 either blocked the more interesting objects on display or were like a herd of cattle pushing everything in front.

Despite this, we did get the opportunity to see some of the galleries that we had missed in our last visit (Lent, 1989) either because of closure or time.

After the race through the museum, we strolled around the area of the Vatican and the Metro, window shopping. April did get some little things for her Sacraments class, but we didn't indulge in a wild shopping spree. We got back to Roma Termini in plenty of time to relax before our scheduled departure... note I used the work 'scheduled'... our train was about 40 minutes late-not too bad.

Overall, we thought it a pleasant trip despite the little issues here and there-and the rain held off until just before we got on the train back to home. We did learn a few lessons:

  1. Don't plan a weekend day trip on a day where there's a holy day or feast celebrated (it was Epiphany weekend).
  2. Order tickets on line for the museums before heading up.

Click here for a page of thumbnails and images from our trip.