7 Ways to Avoid Losing Your Mind While Exploring Vatican City

The Vatican Museums house something like 70,000 pieces of art, only 20,000 of which are on display. It’s one of the largest museums in the world and includes 54 galleries, including the Sistine Chapel. The museums were founded by Pope Julius II in the 16th century and today it is the 4th most-visited museum in the world, with around 6 million visitors shuffling their way through the galleries each year.

How to Spend 20 Days in Italy

I’ve wanted to go to Italy for as long as I’ve known I was Italian. So, pretty much always. It’s been on my bucket list for actual decades.

When I was deployed last year, along with John, my (now ex-)boyfriend, we started talking about trips to take after the deployment. He’s Italian. I’m Italian. We’d both always dreamed of visiting Italy, so Italy it was.

Crossing the Tiber: A Roman Walking Tour

We spent more days in Rome than any other city we visited on our Italian vacation. Three full days, four nights, plus half days on the way in and out. We packed our first two days in Rome with the big deals - the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Forum, a bunch of basilicas - so our last day was open. We wanted to get off the tourist track a little bit, so we embarked on a Roman walking tour, loosely based on a walk recommended by Fodor's. [...]

READ MORE