We’d prebooked a tour (a really smart move) so we skip the long lines and find our tour guide. Our tour is 3 hours and takes through the the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica. We have a portable audio receiver & earpiece and our guide gives us an excellent commentary throughout.
And we quickly get used to “Follow my hand” as we’re taken around the buildings. There are multiple guided tours and for most of the 3 hours we’re packed shoulder to shoulder, often having to push through narrow gaps in the throng to keep up with our guide.
It’s impossible to capture the sheer magnificence of whole experience; these are just a few of the murals on the walls and ceilings of the museum rooms.
Photography is not allowed in the Sistine Chapel. Talking is actively discouraged, this being frequently and loudly requested over the loudspeaker system by the Vatican staff. We spend 15 minutes studying the murals on the walls and ceiling before moving on to the Basilica for the final part of the tour.
To give some idea of the size, the black canopy in the foreground is almost 40 metres tall.
Tour over, we leave the Vatican and make the mistake of stopping at the first restaurant we see for a somewhat overpriced sandwich. A few hundred metres further on we discover too late any number of reasonably priced places to eat.