Visiting the Vatican



I wasn’t sure where to post this, so mods, if there’s a better forum, please feel free to move this thread.

I’m leaning towards RCIA in the Fall, and have already decided that upon completion, I’d like to take a trip to the Vatican next summer. I’ve always been a bit of a traveler, and I feel a trip to the Holy City would be extremely meaningful to me and my young Faith.

I was curious, has anyone here ever visited the Vatican? What’s it like? I understand it’s a pretty small place, being under a half mile in each direction. What’s the surrounding area like? I’d be visiting the City by myself, so I’d probably need to find some other things to do. What was your experience in going? Does it take your breath away, and make you humbled? Does the Pope do Mass every Sunday, or only when he’s not on business?


“jas” I’ve never been to the Vatican. But it is a dream I cherish, to one day go and pray near the tomb of our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.

God bless you on your journey! I will keep you in my prayers.


My wife and I went to the Vatican this summer. You can read about it here:

I don’t think the Pope gives Mass every Sunday. The Vatican website has his schedule and a form you can fax in to get tickets if there is a Mass. Long story short, the Vatican is amazing. The art and architecture are incredible. When you see the outside facade of St. Peter’s, it doesn’t look that big since it between some large buildings. But as you get closer you definitely get a sense of it’s size. I dare anyone to walk into St. Peter’s and say “meh, it’s ok but I was expecting more.”

I definitely suggest getting an audio tour of St. Peter’s so that you can best understand all the various sculptures and monuments. Also, tour the tombs of the Popes and walk up copula (dome) of St. Peters. That takes an entire afternoon.

There is a good afternoon’s worth to see in the Vatican Museum (Sistine Chapel!). Also, it is nice to get tickets in advance to tour the Vatican gardens (2 hours).

As for other things to do, remember, you are in Rome. You can see the Coliseum, Pantheon, and a wide range of Roman ruins. There are plenty of piazzas where you can relax and take in the city. If you are looking for more religious things, try visiting the Catacombs or praying on the Holy Staircase.


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