The Vatican is without a doubt one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. The headquarters of the Catholic Church has been attracting people ever since it was opened for public eyes. It does help that it is located in the center of one of the world’s most beautiful capitals, Rome. Italy is a country that thrives from tourism and when you combine all of this you get the idea of why is Vatican so popular. Besides, Catholicism is one of the biggest religions in the world, and millions of believers flock each year to pay their respects to God.
In the same way, Mecca attracts Muslims from all over the world to pilgrimage, Vatican is the same for Catholics. When you add the fact that it’s much easier and safer to reach Rome than Mecca, you understand the popularity of the Vatican. Furthermore, it holds an artistic value that is interesting even to people who are not believers. People of all religions come to Rome to witness its biggest attraction due to its worth in terms of art. The one thing you shouldn’t underestimate when it comes to this place is the number of people that you’ll meet there. Most people ignore various aspects of a visit to the Vatican and we’re here to warn you about a few things. Keep reading and learn about the four biggest mistakes to avoid when visiting the Vatican.
1. Trying to See it All in One Day
Let’s talk about mission impossible, but not the Tom Cruise flick, but about trying to see everything there is to see in the Vatican over the course of one day. Twenty-four hours might do the trick but we’re talking about the length of a whole day, but about the working hours of this holy place. The headquarters of the Catholic Church is such an amazing site, and there’s no chance in the world you can see it in its fullest during a one-day stay. On top of our heads, the places you must see are St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, La Pieta, and Cupola di San Pietro. There are dozens of other locations that are a must-see, we’re only scratching the surface here. So, have in mind that when you head to the Italian capital and its center, don’t save time, invest as much as you can. A few days is what we suggest. If you’re in Rome for other things and not the only Vatican, we suggest that you book at least a seven days stay. Trust us, it is worth your time and money. Visiting this holy place is a once-in-a-lifetime investment.
2. Not Dressing Up
This is vital to know if you’re going to visit the center of the Catholic Holy Empire. While the rules, or the dress code, aren’t as strict as one could have expected, they’re still in place and all visitors need to obey them. It is essential that you are informed of what you may or may not wear in the Vatican. For one, you might find yourself booking a stay in Rome, and getting ready to enter the place only to get rejected due to your clothes. This especially goes if you’re visiting in the summer. You may be able to roam the city dressed inappropriately but the entrance to such places as the Sistine Chapel or any of the Vatican Museums will be forbidden. So, have in mind that hats, miniskirts, shorts, or any sleeveless clothes are off the books. Be assured that there are a lot of guards stationed at the gates of all important buildings, and it will be very hard to get by them if you are not dressed up to the code. Luckily the dress code required by the Vatican can be easily found on their official website so be sure to read it. If you are planning to travel there regardless of the strict dress code, you can do something about it if you visit this link.
3. Going Without a Tour Guide
Yes, you can go to the Vatican on your own. But, this is not something we recommend. Some places can be explored without a proper guide but this is not the one. You could argue that we’re talking about the world’s smallest country and that you don’t need any help roaming through it, but we repeat; it’s a mistake. If you are having a short stay, having a tour guide is vital. We’re back at the beginning of our article here, and claim that it is a mission impossible seeing all that needs to be seen in one day. If you enter without a guide, you’ll be lost as Tom Cruise was in Oblivion, when he found out the truth (no spoilers). According to the official data the Vatican has close to 1,400 rooms worth visiting. While you could be an organized person, we’re also sure that there’s no way to visit all the right places without guidance. As we insinuated above, finding proper Vatican tours should be the way to go.
4. Seeking The Last Supper
When you’re in the Vatican you’ll want to see all the artistic wonders the city has to offer. There’s plenty to see, but The Last Supper is not one of them. If you don’t have a guide, you might get an idea that this picture is something you must see while in the Vatican. Of course, this wonder of painting is a must is if you have any respect for the art, but the Vatican doesn’t offer that opportunity. Statistics show that thousands of tourists ask their guides to take them to the gallery to see this famous picture. Leonardo Da Vinci was a wonder maker of the sort during his lifetime and has left behind numerous works of art for us to admire, but you need to learn a thing or two about this particular painting. Da Vinci spent most of his working life in Florence and Milan, with only briefly being located in Rome. This is why you must educate yourself and learn this about the Last Supper – it is exhibited in Milan, not in the Vatican. In Rome, you might be lucky and meet the Prince, Francesco Totti, if you know a thing or two about soccer.