It is such a small country that you cannot back distance enough to put the whole St Peter’s cathedral in the photo.

If you don’t laugh, I do: Ah,Ah,Ah.

​Vatican is such a small country that you cannot go there without seeing the Pope. Again: Ah,Ah,Ah. Vatican is such a small country that you don’t need to enter the cathedral or the Vatican Museum to find that it is the richest for square inch. And if you enter…

​The big cathedral


Will it be possible to conciliate religiosity with the crowds that invade the space, thousands by day, each day?

Will it be possible to describe the place in less than a large book? I won’t try. If you may, just go. If you don’t, it would be cruelty, describing what you have to miss. Not me.

​Website: Vatican

​Pope’s baldacchino


All the cathedral is an astonishing collection of precious master pieces from dozens of the biggest names in architecture, sculpture and painting.

It will take an eternity to browse and identify each piece, under the dimmed interior light, but a large one is in evidence in the centre of the building, with st Peter’s chair as background.

It’s the “baldacchino” conceived by Bernini and used by the popes in their eucharistic celebrations.



After having seen several wonderful Pietàs, it’s a very emotive moment the meeting with THE Pietà, and then, looking at the glass between me and the statue comes the question:

How could someone decide to damage it?

What confusions are there in a mind ceding to a such a barbarian impulse?

The tombs


Alexander VII

Bernini’s monument to Alexander VII, is one of the most impressive in St Peter church.

Unfortunately, the common “no flash” instruction and the crowds always passing by make almost impossible to get its picture.


Benedict XV

Dead in 1922, this pope has a special veneration in this cathedral, due to his hard efforts to peace during WW1. Buried in the caves, he has a statue in the main floor, in a structure presented as his tomb, that… it is not. The monument is very strong, but didn’t convince the experts, finding incoherence between some of the decorative elements.


Clement XIII

Facing the altar there’s a beautiful monument – the tomb of Clemente XIII, ​made in Carrara marble by Antonio Canova in 1792. More than describing it I invite you to read the detailed explanation in Saint Peter’s site .

Address: Basilica San Pietro, Vatican City


Gregory XIII

The cathedral is full of interesting details.

Some elements deserve a closer look, even in a dimmed light, for instance the tomb of pope Gregory XIII, built in the 18th century by Camilo Rusconi.

The Museum


Decorated way to the Sistine Chapel

I protest. Practically, the Vatican Museum became a “fait-divers” in the crowd’s way to and from Sistine Chapel. Does anybody really have time and spirit to see the Museum with the attention and detail it deserves? No. It is only there to allow people to make the photos, forbidden in the chapel. As they should be.

​Can you imagine several hundred cameras flashing simultaneously at the ceiling? So, the museum makes sense. I withdraw my protest.

Website: Museum

The sistine chapel


The Tapestry

The Sistine Chapel is a carpet of heads, all with noses facing up. For two reasons it’s a marvel of physics: First, you don’t walk on the carpet, but inside it; second, the collection of hundreds of silences becomes a sort of thunder sometimes called “a rumour”.

Don’t worry about getting lost in the carpet, or finding a way out – the carpet works so perfectly that you will be expelled without noticing it.

P.S. – I forgot to tell you that if you look up and around, you may see many paintings of some skilled guys, named Michelangelo, Botticelli, and other.

They only reproduce many known posters easy to buy in the market, but with their good technique, I think they will have a future.

P.S.2 – I forgot to tell you how to go: early in the morning search for a huge line of people in (or near) a country called Vaticano. If you see a big church at the far end of the line, forget it. That’s the wrong line.

Move some meters to your right and enter the other line.

P.S.3 – It’s forbidden to make pictures (irrelevant prohibition, because inside the human carpet no one can raise the hands to hold a camera) , so I had to pick some among the millions available in the net. I hope that Human Heritage is beyond copyright laws.

Address: Only acessed via the Vatican Museums

Phone: +39 06 6988 4676



A monumental staircase, designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, is the most discreet piece of art in the museum, and a place where we can breath, out of the pressure of so much richness and luxury.

Website: Vatican

​Swiss guards


The Swiss guard of the Pope is one of the Vatican’s highlights.

I was expecting to see the usual performance of changing the guards like everywhere else in the world where the guards are photogenic, but couldn’t get it.

They were discreet, changing hourly in the few visible points, and the real performances are reserved for official ceremonies.

​I just have to wait for a Pope’s invitation and I will let you know.

Saint Angelo castle


​Watch your attire

Watch your attire
Watch your attire

Don’t risk to be stopped from entering the Vatican, for exposing too much flesh to the roman sun. A proper attire is mandatory.

My kids and friends insisted that their pants were so long that it shouldn’t be any problem.

Wrong! They had to cover them with the trousers that, wisely, I advised them to carry in the backpack.

​A funny detail to entertain the long waiting line to enter.


Watch your attire

Don’t count with good pictures inside St Peter’s cathedral – using flash is forbidden and the light is dimmed.

We tried our best, but… I decided to buy a REAL camera (and tripod).

​Next time, I think, I will do better.



Vatican is a country of contrasts – it is one of the smallest countries in the world, with one of the greatest churches.

You can´t really have an idea of its size, until you decide to picture it.

A suggestion to a Roman VTer: Try to install a crane in Via della Conciliazione, for instance, and I think that you may charge a few euros to thousands of tourists each day, just to go up and make a picture.

NOTE – I don’t need any kind of commissions, just an invitation to go up and make my missing picture.