We did a Vatican tour today and let me say it was worth every penny of that $250 for the three of us. We got to skip the really long line and had an amazing guide taking us through, pointing out the most important pieces and sharing the history. I 100% recommend the tour and the earlier the better because things just get more crowded and hotter as the day goes on. I cannot even begin to imagine the crowds and heat in July and August.
The Vatican is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Absolutely unreal. And I cannot believe I got to see the Sistine Chapel in person. Just WOW!! We also visited St. Peter's Basillica and St. Peter's Square. Had okay pizza for lunch but the yummiest gelato ever for dessert. We stopped by the Rome USO to see what they had to offer (not a whole lot) and then took the train back home. We walked for 10 hours, 20K steps and were exhausted. We got back home around 7 PM, chilled for a couple hours and then off to bed, to get ourselves ready for tomorrow's tour of the Colosseum.
P.S. It's so sad that Michelangelo's La Pieta sculpture now has glass in front of it so that you can't get very close. Apparently, in 1972, some crazy man, who claimed he was Jesus, climbed over the guard rail and started hacking away at the Pieta with a hammer because he said he was Jesus Christ it didn't look like him. Vatican officials retrieved some of the chipped off pieces, but tourists took a whole lot more.