There are many cheap tours in Rome that won’t break the bank. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost a fortune to see some of the world’s most stunning architecture.
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The cost of airfare and accommodation can be daunting, so why not try and balance the financial scales with some excellent tours that are relatively inexpensive.
There’s no doubt that an expertly guided tour is well worth the investment and far better than wandering off on your own in a large, vibrant city. Chances are, you will spend most of your time trying to understand your taxi driver and somehow letting him know where you want to go.
Even if you do speak French, a guided tour is the most efficient way to get around the city. This post will focus on three must-see Rome destinations. To make things even better, you will be able to skip the line.
Few people realize that the Vatican is actually a country unto itself. As a matter of fact, it’s the smallest country in the world.
It covers a mere 100 acres, far less than the average farmers wheat field. You could fit eight Vatican Cities inside on New York’s Central Park with room to spare. It’s governed by a monarchy, which of course is headed up by the pope.
They even print their own money, passports, license plates, and stamps. The Vatican also has its own anthem and flag. They are a tax-free country and most of their income is derived from contributions and souvenir sales.
In a 2011 census, there were 594 Vatican citizens. Among them were 109 members of the Swiss Guard, one nun, and 71 clergies. There were also 307 clergy members holding diplomatic posts in different locations around the world. The population in 2018 exploded to 801 individuals.
ST. PETER’S BASILICA
It’s believed that St. Peter’s tomb is underneath the Basilica.
Rome was devastated by fire around A.D. 64 and although Nero is accommodation guilty of starting the blaze, he did his best to deflect the blame to the Christians.
Nero went on a bit of a rampage and killed many Christians by either burning them at the stake or crucifying them. St. Peter was supposedly one of his victims. St. Peter was considered the first bishop of Rome and was interred in a grave on Vatican Hill.
Currently, the basilica tops the burial ground that has St. Peter’s tomb at its center.
THE SISTINE CHAPEL
Back in 1477, there was a chapel named Capella Magna that resided in the spot currently occupied by the Sistine Chapel. The chapel is immense. If you traveled the entire world, you would be hard-pressed to behold something as amazing as this structure.
If you decide you would like to take a tour of Vatican City, The Sistine Chapel, and St.Peter’s you might find it very busy. However, with Getyourguide skip-the-line tours, there is no waiting.
It might look relatively unassuming from the outside, but it’s a whole other world on the inside. The chapel is approximately 132 feet by 44 feet by 68 feet.
Originally, the chapel ceiling was a very simple blue sky with stars. In 1503 it was Pope Julius who browbeat Michaelangelo into re-painting the ceiling. Michaelangelo balked at the idea. In his mind, he was a sculptor and not a painter. Besides, he was on a mission sculping the king’s tomb.
Ultimately, he caved under the pressure from the pope and began painting the chapel ceiling. It was a real odyssey. He began work in 1508 and finished if four years later. It took a lot out of him and because of the intense detail of the work he did permanent damage to his eyesight.
But they weren’t done with Michaelangelo quite yet. Some twenty years later, when he was in his 60’s he was commissioned by Pope Clement VII to paint the “Last Judgement” fresco behind the altar. He began in 1536 and finished the job in 1541.
The high part of the ceiling featured scenes from Genesis that included “The Separation of Light From Darkness” and “The Self-Portraits of Noah”. I’m sure there is a story behind a drunk Noah that is best left buried. Maybe that’s why the ark ended up on top of a mountain.
Anyway, the parts of the ceiling that appear to be the most famous are “The Creation of Adam” and “The Fall of Man and the Expulsion from Paradise”.
Michelangelo was very upset with the Catholic Church throughout his ordeal. Apparently, he painted two miserable self-portraits somewhere in “The Last Judgement.” He painted his deceased face somewhere on Holofernes severed head. He also brushed a ghoulish image somewhere on St. Bartholomew’s skin.
When you visit, you’ll have to see if you can spot these.
The chapel itself had been the center of the Roman Catholic Church since 1492. Since that year the Sistine Chapel has been the center where the College of Cardinals has elected new popes.
I hope you found this article on cheap tours in Rome for the fugal traveler interesting.
Be sure to visit all three of these amazing landmarks of history when you make your trip to Rome.
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