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Rome, the Sistine Chapel, and Photography

I came across this super-amazing-awesome 360 degree photo showing the inside of the Sistine Chapel. Click here to check it out. Make sure you move your mouse around and zoom in on stuff.

It got me thinking about the 2008 trip I took to Italy with my family. We saw a ton of stuff the week we were there, but our most packed day was the day we went to Rome. Considering we had a 3 hour train ride just to get to Rome, we really needed to hustle if we wanted to make it worth it. Or first stop was The Colosseum, which was absolutely breathtaking.


We eventually made our way to the Vatican Museum. It was the only place in Italy where we actually paid to go on a guided tour, and it was totally worth it. The Vatican Museum is enormous and the tour guide not only keeps you on track to see some of the more remarkable pieces, but she also gave us a lot of information that we wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Here’s our tour guide giving us the run-down on the Sistine Chapel before heading in:

If you’ve never been to the Sistine Chapel, you’ll find that it’s amazing, it’s PACKED with people, and you’re not allowed to take photos inside. Our tour guide was pretty adamant about getting this latter point across. Her take was, you don’t want to get kicked out of the Sistine Chapel for taking pictures when there are already plenty of photos of the inside of the Sistine Chapel. As a photographer, and as someone who has so far walked around all of Italy with a camera up to his face, I reluctantly agreed to put the camera away.

In truth people do break the rules and take photos while they’re inside. The security guards yell at them, but you can probably get away with taking one or shots before you get kicked out. However, I don’t regret not getting of my own photos of the inside. It’s so remarkable being inside of there, and there’s so much to look at, you really are better served just looking around and soaking it in. And really, our guide was right – with the short amount of time you actually have in there and the sheer amount of people surrounding you, the chance of you getting a better photo than one that already exists somewhere else is slim. Better to just be there. Enjoy the moment.

The tour ended in St. Peter’s Basilica.

And we ended our day at the Trevi Fountain before heading back to the train.

Can’t wait to get back to Rome someday.

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  • Tomek - March 14, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    Hello! amazing blog and photos!

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