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This is the world’s smallest independent state and headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church lying in the very heart of Rome on the west bank of the Tiber river. It is a walled city with six tremendous gates comprising of the Vatican Palace, St. Peter’s Square, St Peter’s Basilica and the Papal Gardens.
I walked from my hotel towards Vatican. I crossed Ponte Sant’Angelo, the bridge which spans the river Tiber. The bridge is faced with travertine marble and spans the Tiber with five arches, three of which are Roman; it was approached by means of ramp from the river.
For a while I wandered through the Vatican on my own admiring the paintings in glorious solitude but after the museums opened to the rest of the public the corridors and rooms quickly became busy with the thousands of other people visiting the Vatican.
Because of the sheer amount of visitors, the Vatican Museums work on a one way system so normally visitors cannot just head straight to the Sistine Chapel but have to go through the whole museum first and the visit the Sistine Chapel at the end.
The Gallery of Maps
The Sistine Chapel is most famous for Michelangelo’s frescoes, but long before Michelangelo, Sisto commissioned painters such as Botticelli to fresco the two long walls of the chapel: one side told the story of Moses, the other the story of Christ. Even without Michelangelo’s work, these earlier paintings still represent one of Europe’s greatest fresco cycles.
St. Peter Basilica
I joined the queue at St Peter’s Basilica to climb up to the top of the dome using spiral staircase. It was a great view across the Vatican. From top I can also see Papal Garden and residential building of Pope.