Vacation-Day 5, Vatican

Both David and I are fortunate to have very devout, sweet, Catholic grandmothers. With them in mind, when we decided on Rome, we planned to spend a day at the Vatican.  Two main objectives for the trip: pasta and Francis. 

Thankfully for the world, Pope Francis had a historic visit to Africa scheduled during our trip. So, we slept in a bit, enjoyed the Hotel Brittania’s breakfast at a leisurely pace and made our way to Vatican City without much of an agenda.

We smugly (and as we would eventually find out, foolishly) patted ourselves on the back for our good planning and ticket reservations when we saw the hundreds of people in line outside St. Peter’s. Could not believe how crowded it was in November. 

   

 We started with the gorgeous grounds at the Vatican Museum. One of many moments I had to remind myself to just look around and soak it up and not try to snap away on my phone.

    

My last trip to the museum was over 10 years ago, on a swealtering summer day during college. The Gallery of Maps felt even more impressive this time around.

Also-thumbs up to Rick Steve’s audio guide in the Sistene Chapel. Not only was the historical explanation fasicinating, but it helped to tune out the whispers of hundreds of others cramming their necks at the ceiling.

Unfortunately, after the museum, we completely failed to follow RS’ instructions to cut over to St. Peter’s. We just kept following the exit, and soon enough, we were back outside with the throngs of tourists. We had zero interest in waiting in the line, so we chalked it up to the inevitable trip plan failure and promised ourselves we would someday return to St. Peters. 

At this point it was late in the afternoon and we were overdue for some Italian carbs. Andrea recommended the buffalo pizza at Dar Poeta so we hopped in a taxi to Trastevere. The pizza was delicious, though after the late afternoon bread and cheese, I definitely needed a nap.

Later that evening, we went back to Trastevere for dinner at Taverna Trilussa. It was a Friday night and sweet seeing families and couples out to dinner, enjoying the end of the work week. I got my new favorite-amatriciana-and it arrived warm, in the pan.

From dinner, we walked to admire the Piazza Navonna and then the Pantheon at night. They were conveniently located near San Crispino-my other memory from 10 years ago-and even though it was pretty chilly, I had to stop for the honey gelato :)

I thiiiiiiiink this was my first time seeing the Trevi Fountain at night and it was stunning. Even more magical than I remembered and pretty special to see it with David.

  
The next day we were awake bright and early for our day trip to Florence! Hope to write about it soon.

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