Yesterday was our first full day of sightseeing in Rome. With comfortable shoes on feet and guide book in hand we set off for our first destination, the Vatican City. Taking in the Tridente and the Tiber en route we soon realized that St Peter's Basilica was a no-hoper; the queue in Piazza San Pietro was massive. Ignoring invitations to queue jump (for a not inconsiderable sum) we rather half-heartedly wandered round to the Vatican Museums. Apparently the queues for the Sistine Chapel are often prohibitive too. We were in luck though. There was no queue at all. Result. So we wandered in and meandered up and down room after room of priceless antiquities taking snaps of the most impressive ones. Finally we made it through to the Sistine Chapel itself. We weren't particularly impressed to be honest and there was no Charlton Heston in sight so we moved on. Returning to St Peter's the queue had greatly reduced so we decided to join it. The Basilica was huge inside. Sadly no Pope was in sight and so no Papal ring to kiss. The climb to the top of the dome was pretty exhausting mind you; 551 steps. Phew. After the Vatican we experienced a bit of rip-off Rome and had a snack costing €44. Blimey. We then made our way back to our hotel via the Pantheon for a brief rest.
In the evening we took the metro via the Spanish Steps to the San Giovanni district to eat, see the Colosseum and watch a firework display. Cool.