van Bokhoven Europe 2014 travel blog

St Peter's Basilica & square in the morning

Inside the Vatican

San Giovanni crawling up the stairs

Outside dinner

No parking rules!

After missing out on the Audience with the Pope on Wednesday morning, where we were advised to get to the Vatican by 6.15am to get a spot where we at least could see him and believed that this would be too much for our boys, Alicen and Frank decided to attend the 8.30am Mass today without the boys.

So leaving the boys at home in bed, we got to the Vatican around 8am and were pleased that there were hardly any tourists at that time yet. No queues to get in and with the sun up some great photo opportunities of the various buildings and inside paintings, which we took.

Mass started early at 8.20am by an Italian priest (traditional and long beard) and while we could not follow the words and readings, the structure of Mass was pretty much in line with our English worded Mass.

Once finished, Alicen did another attempt at religious shopping in the tourist shop at the Vatican and on the way back to the metro some more people were arriving and long lines were already queuing up to get in.

We decided to stop at 1 metro station from our 'home' station, called San Giovanni.

We there had a look at another beautiful church and then visited Le Scala Santa, where allegedly the steps are laid, which Jesus used when he was called to Pontius Pilate to hear his verdict. Those steps were later transferred to this church and now used by people who worship and climb them on their knees.

Alicen read later that these steps are actually not authentic, however that did not take away the moving line up of people crawling up the stairs.

Luke was calling us where we were as he was getting hungry at home. We decided to walk, which was only 10 minutes to our metro stop and then bought a pizza and some other food for our boys for lunch.

In the afternoon Alicen and the boys decided to do some shopping, while Frank decided to 'chill' at home.

We decided to have dinner at one of the recommended restaurants by our tour guides to Pompeii yesterday near some working fountains. Dinner was outside and very nice with a movie being shot there on the street where we were sitting. We had to rush back inside after being told that 'the president' was on his way and therefore all tables moved inside. There we found out that the restaurants are not meant to seat people outside.

Walked back to the metro and we saw a few interestingly parked cars on the way home...Italian drivers in very small cars!!

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