Tuesday, January 31, 2012

T & R : Rome and the Vatican City (12th out of 2 weeks in Italy)


Vatican City merits most of one day, especially if you’re doing a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica in one go. I do recommend getting a spot on a guided tour of Vatican City, partly because the museums are so vast it’s impossible to know what’s important to look at and what’s not (unless you’re a history buff or an art major) and partly because knowing the context of what you’re looking at makes it infinitely more meaningful.

A guided tour typically starts by 9 or 10 in the morning and can last 4-6 hours, usually with a break for lunch between a swing through the museum and a tour of the Basilica, and most guides arrange it so you’ll meet them in Vatican City. Be aware that St. Peter’s has a strict dress code (many churches in Italy do, but few enforce it to the degree that St. Peter’s does) – no exposed shoulders, knees, or midriffs are allowed. I’ve seen people walking through this most dignified cathedral wearing disposible paper clothing over their shorts and tank-tops after being forced to buy the paper coveralls from a nearby vendor at a ridiculous price. Don’t get caught in this situation.

Friday, January 6, 2012

T & R : Rome (11th day out of 2 weeks in Italy)

Travel and Review : Rome (11th day out of 2 weeks in Italy)
As this city is as historical as it sounds, practically every few blocks, you will tend to stumble upon some historic monument. So as a good start in the morning, it is best to visit the most iconic of all Rome monuments, the Colosseum. Thereafter just beside this monument is the The Forum and Palatine Hill. You should give yourself a day to cover all three sites. Plus, be a smart traveller and get a ticket online before you go to these sites. You can buy your combo 3 in 1 ticket here.
There will always be different exhibitions in the Colosseum…. while I was there, it was on Emperor Nero.