I visited the Vatican twice. My first visit was in 2001, the second in 2016.
On both visits, the line to enter the Vatican gate wrapped around it, but the line moved fast.
On my visit in 2001, I was wearing a T-shirt with the Jamaican flag and we stopped to eat Pizza at a pizzeria outside the Vatican gate. I was amazed as the server got very excited to see my T-shirt. He recognized the flag and was happy to meet someone from Jamaica.
Looking out in front of St. Peter’s Basilica and from the side of the Pope’s platform there is the obelisk which is believed to be about 4,000 years old.
The Pope conducts masses from in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. The basilica is believed to be built on top of St. Peter, the apostle’s, tomb. There are also other tombs of deceased popes in the basement of the basilica. It was dark and gloomy and I did not linger there.
Inside the Sistine Chapel, the ceiling was painted by Michaelangelo. The paintings depict stories from the Old Testament.
Swiss guards protect the Pope and the Vatican. These guards are Swiss Catholic males who are 19 to 30 years old, unmarried and trained with the Swiss armed forces.