Vatican City: home to St. Peter’s Basilica, St Peter’s Square, the Vatican Museum, and, of course, the Pope.
Then, there’s the less visited Vatican Gardens.
Worth the visit?
If you have the time, yes!
Like the guided museum tour or general admission, you’ll enter off of Viale Vaticano at the main entrance. After the security checkpoint, head up the stairs to the left side of the room and obtain your passes at the ticket booth.
After you’re given your audio guide with headphone, you’ll head to the ticket turnstile, up the escalator, and out a side door to the outside of the building.
After a short walk, you’ll see mosaics inside of a building (no pics, sorry. Too much glare from the sun!)
You’ll pass a fountain and garden area…
The first major stop is the Bath of Caracalla, a “secret” garden where the pope walked through for some privacy.
The Bath of Caracalla terrace where the Pope held his meetings and enjoyed leisurely time.
Behind the second fountain is the Convent of the Mother of the Church, which was ordered to be built by John Paul II and finished construction in 1992.
The previous pope, Pope Benedict XVI, who retired early due to his advanced age, now resides at this convent.
An eagle sits at the head, and a triton, a Greek god who is messenger of the sea, can be seen on the right.
French Artist Amalia Dupre built this statue that was sanctioned by Pope Leo XIII. The piece shows St. Peter jailed and in chains.
St. Peter was jailed twice before he perished, once in Jerusalem and the other in Rome.
The first assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II took place on Wednesday, May 13, 1981 in St. Peter’s Square. Four shots were fired, and all four struck the Pope.
This statue of Mary helping people was erected to commemorate that event.
Our guide was very sweet, informative, and had a sense of humor. The tour lasted roughly 2 hours.