Vatican City is ancient wonderlandMarvel at the art, history of the area

As you walk through the streets of Northern Rome, you might happen upon large crowds and an ancient set of archways that mark the entrance to Vatican City.
Is it a state, a church, a country? In fact, it is all three. Vatican City was established as a city-state in 1929 but has been the home to the pope and the Roman Catholic religion since the early part of the first century.
Vatican City has a number of sites to see including the Sistine Chapel, Papal Apartments and St. Peters Basilica along with the possibility of catching a glimpse of the most important figure in the Catholic religion, the Pope. Getting tickets to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica are free, so don’t be fooled by the droves of ticket salesmen and guides outside of the gates. While these purveyors of tickets and tours offer the opportunity to skip the lines and a personal guide through the buildings, you are better off saving your money! Walking through Vatican City could take an entire day, and can easily be done on your own and without a guide.
If you want a guide, I recommend downloading an application on your phone called “Rick Steve’s- Europe”, it is free and if you bring headphones you don’t need a tour guide or to rent an audio guide. Download the audio tour guides not the application when you have WIFI at your hotel, and you will be able to access them at the start of the tour. Start with the Vatican museums and wander through the halls of Renaissance and Baroque architecture along with ancient relics from the Roman and Greek empire. Don’t forget to take your time through the hall of maps and the hall of Roman and Greek busts and statues. Cameras can be out for almost the entire tour of the Vatican museums just shut your flash off before you snap the photos.
Next make your way into the Sistine Chapel and admire the marvel that was one of Michelangelo’s finest pieces of work. No photography is allowed in this room, so spend time soaking up every piece of the beautiful ceiling you’ve most likely waited your entire life to see. Remember it is a holy place so don’t talk or post on social media, instead take in the masterpiece in silence. Follow the door out to the right and into the gardens towards St. Peter’s Basilica. Take your time in the courtyard and stop for lunch in the restaurant in the middle of the square before continuing on to the Basilica.
Once you have had a rest head into the Basilica. Take your time admiring each fresco and sculpture, and if you stick around you might be lucky enough to experience a Holy Mass towards the back of the church. After you’ve spent some time in the main area of the Basilica go to the side of the church near the coat check and restrooms. Purchase a ticket to go to the roof of the Basilica, this will only set you back about $10.There is an option to take about 500 stairs to the top, but pay the $10 fee and save your feet for a later adventure through Rome. Once at the top of the Basilica enjoy a coffee and pastry along with the one of the best views of Rome and Vatican City.