Rome was the first city in Laurie and I’s Eurotour2k14, and it is something I do not regret. We had been in Rome for a couple of days before we decided to venture to the Vatican City. Being the middle of summer it was extremely warm so we decided to walk rather than get public transportation or a taxi. The roads and backstreets were beautiful and we managed to come across the Tiber river. I do regret not walking along the river bank.
We repeatedly got lost trying to find the Vatican, accidently coming across countless other landmarks before we were in the right direction. We weren’t using a legit map, we were trying to use one of those tourist maps which enlarge tourist destinations to show you where to go. Eventually, we know we were close to our destination. It was obvious we were walking up to the Vatican because there was a huge influx of tourists and most people were walking in one direction. There was also a considerable increase in the number of people wearing rosary’s, cross jewellery, and nun attire. When we walked into St Peter’s Square we were amazed by the giant pillars and the statues of saints overlooking the population within.
It was beautiful, we stopped for some pictures and drew in the surroundings. After having soaked in everything we decided to attempt entering the Vatican. There are two checkpoints to get into the Vatican. At the first checkpoint, they check your bag before you can continue. You then come out to an open space with stairs leading up to the second checkpoint. This is where it went downhill. Before you reach the stairs, there are all these signs stating various rules about what is permitted inside the Vatican, and what will prohibit entry. It turned out that both me and Laurie were inappropriately dressed for entry into the Vatican City. I was wearing a thin strapped dress, and Laurie was wearing shorts and a vest. We debated for a little bit about whether we should try to get in, but neither of us wanted to face embarrassment so we just left of our own will.
Now I’m not angry that I didn’t get into the Vatican City, but it is slightly sad. Even if we looked ‘inappropriate’, we both went to Roman Catholic schools and spent much time around nuns. The Pope was so important in our education but never had dressed appropriately come up. Also, none of these silly restrictions were made clear to us at the first checkpoint! Luckily, the day didn’t end up being pointless because we got to see Rome and well we did get through the first checkpoint. For sure one day, I will go back to the Vatican City, and this time I’ll get in because I’ll be appropriately dressed 🙂