Rome: A Snowy Day At The Vatican

March 22, 2018

By Tab Byrum

We went to sleep on Sunday with rain falling and woke on Monday morning to snow, we had heard there was a possibility of snow but no one seemed to be taking it very seriously. We had booked a special tour of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel for this day and the tour was scheduled to begin at 7:30 am, before the doors usually open to tourists. We got up and headed out about 6:30 and by the time we did the snow was falling very heavily and there was a strong wind, so armed with down jackets and umbrellas we set off for The Vatican. We had about a mile walk and it wasn’t too bad, we arrived at the Vatican and it was gorgeous. We finally met up with our tour guide after some confusion of where we were meeting, her name was Sabrina and she was charming. Sabrina told us this was only the third time it had snowed in Rome in her lifetime and the last snow had been six years ago. Sabrina led us to the tour entrance of the Vatican and we set off first for the Sistine Chapel and I’m so glad we did, by the time we entered the Chapel they were telling us that the Vatican was going to be shut down due to the weather and the inability of employees to get to work. We got in and spent about 20 minutes in the Sistine Chapel, if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Chapel do it because it’s breathtaking. The colors are so intense and to think that Michelangelo did all of this on scaffolding and ladders. Unfortunately, you aren’t allowed to take photos of the chapel ceiling but I do have lots of other photos to share of the parts of the Vatican we toured and some beautiful photos of our snowy day in Rome. We weren’t able to tour St. Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican Museums because they did close for the remainder of the day, oh well, we’ll just have to go back. Enjoy!!!

This is what greeted us as awoke on a snowy Monday morning in Rome. 

The weather was not fit for man or Vespa, but on we trudged. 

This was our first look at the Vatican as we came down a hill and rounded the corner, the camera doesn’t capture how beautiful it was. 

We weren’t able to photograph the Sistine Chapel ceiling but there were plenty of other beautiful ceilings to see. After we left the Chapel we entered a long haul that entered several different chambers. The chambers were filled with glass cases that held antiques, gifts and all kinds of items that have belonged to Popes and the Vatican over the last several hundred years. The ceilings in each of these chambers were decorated and painted depicting scenes from the Bible, the lives of Popes, Saints, and living in Rome. 

This is a Papal hat on display in one of the glass cases. 

Not only were the ceilings painted beautifully but there were also many beautifully painted walls in the halls and chambers. 

This scene with birds was on the front of a cabinet, beautiful.

After we finished our tour we stopped to say goodbye to our guide and outside the windows, you could see the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica across the way. 

Back out in front of the Basilica, the snow had stopped and the statues of saints and apostles on the top of the wall around the courtyard were covered in snow. 

I have to say we were exhausted after our morning trek in the snow and the Chapel tour and we headed back to the apartment to rest for a little while. As we passed through this area we suddenly felt the sun break through, I turned around and blue sky was coming through. 

We went back to Cajo & Gajo and I had a hot chocolate. If you’ve never had hot chocolate in Europe then do it if you have the chance, it’s more like drinking hot pudding and yes that’s a glass of whip cream on the side. 

What would a snowy day be without a snowball fight, one broke out on the piazza outside our apartment. Fun while it lasted. 

I hope you enjoyed our snowy day in Rome, come back tomorrow when we leave the Italian capital and head north to the land of water and gondolas. Have a great day and Enjoy!!!

Words and images are my own.

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