Greg is very proud of his “illegal” photo he got in the Sistine Chapel!
I pretended like I didn’t know him.
If I can give you one piece of travel advice it would be: Don’t, under any circumstances, even if it’s the only time you can get off work, just say no, and any other WARNING statement you can think of….DO NOT GO TO ITALY IN JULY! Well, at least don’t go to any touristy place in Italy, unless you’re a huge fan of waiting in lines in the hottest heat. July and August (yea, don’t go in August either) is the major summer vacation time for families from all over Europe and the U.S. Which means lots of waiting in long lines behind small children who are just as hot as you are except they get the luxury of whining at the top of their lungs. Actually, I did that a lot too but adult whining isn’t as cute.
If you do end up making this horrible timing mistake (like we did) here are some ways to help you not punch a small child:
- First of all, you should have listened to me and not gone to Italy in July or August! Come on people! Instead, go in May. Schools are still in session and it’s not hot as hell yet…literally hell…I’ve never been, but I hear the temperature is similar to that of Italy in July/August.
But since you didn’t listen to my warning or you secretly do like punching babies, you can try these tips instead…
- Avoid any major tourist attractions you won’t be upset about missing. Instead, walk into a local shop and buy some cheese and wine and ask the shop owner where he would go to enjoy this lovely picnic. He’s most likely not going to tell you about the most insanely crowded piazza. But he will share the quaintest park that he likes to take his wife for a romantic stroll. *queue swoon*
- If you must see the Coliseum, or any other similarly touristy spot, then definitely get the Roma Pass (or any similar city tourist pass). We picked up the Roma Pass at the airport when we arrived in Rome for 34€, you can also find it at little booths placed all around the city. It allows you to enter 2 museums for free and wait in a special Roma Pass line that was about a billion times shorter than the regular line that wrapped around the entire Coliseum. After you use up those 2 free museum passes you get discounted entry and you still get to wait in that much (MUCH) shorter line. AND free public transportation within Rome while the card is valid. Hellz yea!
- Start Early….you’re jet lagged! Use that power to your advantage! Grab a quick breakfast to-go and wait in line before the doors open and enjoy your croissant.
- If you must sleep in, then just sleep in even later. Enjoy your breakfast. Sip on an espresso or two. Go for a stroll. In other words, stall as much as you can until about an hour and half before an attraction is going to close. We did this last tip at the Musei Vaticani since technically Vatican City is outside of Rome and therefore the Roma Pass is not valid there.
***Quick little fun fact: Vatican City is actually it’s own country. At 1.05 kilometres (0.6 mi) long and 0.85 kilometres (0.5 mi) wide it is the smallest country in the world! And no, they will not stamp your passport. We asked and then got weird looks.***
The Musei Vaticani closes at 4pm, so we got there around 2pm and still had to wait in line. The line had definitely died down by then, but it was still long enough for the guy in front of us to order a pizza and torture us by eating it while he waited. GENIUS!!!
Me waiting in line, not amused by both the waiting and pizza guy in front of us.
If you decide that the Musei Vaticani is not a must see or it is a must see and you wait so long in line that you just melt and die before getting in, here is a sneak peak inside for you to enjoy. No lines or melting involved. YAY!
View of Vatican City from the museum
All the ceilings were as intricate as this one
I just think this guy is really cute. He probably got all the ladies.
My favorite was the Gallery of Maps. The walls were covered with beautifully painted maps like this one.
The double spiral staircase was another fave.
After all that waiting in line, pushing through crowds, and glaring at torturous pizza guy we figured we deserved a delicious lunch at Insalata Ricca right outside the museum.
Major “get in my belly” moment occurred when this amazingly yummy olive, artichoke, and classic Bruschetta trio arrived at our table
Big chunks of brie floating in a sea of arugula, blueberries, and chicken = Happy Casi