The day of our visit to St. Peter’s Basilica started with a brisk walk to the Vatican Museum entrance where our tour would begin.

Afternoon sunlight streams through the opening in the Dome of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome Italy - the Vatican City.

The walk was brisk as we had to be at the entrance by 9am to join our skip the line tour. Even with paying the extra money for the skip the line convenience, it was about 10 minutes to get inside, and then another 15 minutes to wait while the guide bought our tickets. As this was prime tourist season, those 25 minutes to get into the Vatican museum cut our entrance time by more than an hour.

Once inside, it was time to be led around the museum by our guide along and what seemed like hundreds of other guides leading around the thousands of people that visit the museum each day during the prime summer months. Our tour inside the museum ended with a visit to the Sistine Chapel where you are absolutely not supposed to take photos. It’s just not allowed, and the guards yell that about once every minute.

After the Chapel visit we exited the museum right next to the entrance forĀ St. Peter’s Basilica. The wait here for our guide to purchase tickets was just a few minutes, and then we off to see one of the most famous and beautiful churches in the world. By this point of the tour, I had started wondering off away from the tour guide because I wanted to take photos much than I wanted to hear interesting banter about what we were viewing. One bit of information I did gleam from the tour guide was to keep everything to scale, the artwork that was higher up in the basilica was larger than those closer to ground level. That way when viewed from ground level everything appears the same size, even though it’s not.

This photo isn’t of the main dome which rises 448 feet above the floor of the Basilica and is the largest dome in the world.