I can confidently assert that the Vatican is capable of converting the most hardcore of atheists and agnostics into exceptionally pious individuals. There is an inexplicable magic that this place, a perfect amalgamation of cultural heritage and modernity, exudes. The seat of the Catholic world and the planet’s smallest sovereign state, the Vatican upstages every other independent country by virtue of the many spectacles of artistic prowess it is home to. And then, the most outspoken Pope the world has ever seen and the internet is obsessed with, now belongs to this place. With a never-ending square and a colossal obelisk, both of which are severely intimidating, a voluminous and imposing dome and colonnades that seem to be forming a warm embrace of sorts, Vatican City is a reminder of the fact that human beings are frangible when compared to the commanding power that guides us. Another realisation is how this power has had a favourite all along; a favourite in the form of Michelangelo, the most famous artist known to mankind whose works have adorned the Vatican like a Christmas tree.
As soon as you step out of the Ottaviano San Pietro metro station and star walking towards towards St. Peter’s Square, you will be solicited by numerous guides luring you with all-inclusive tours of St Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel for about 70 Euros. While they are exceedingly cogent, putting your foot down and refusing is a good idea because they provide very basic trivia which does not include St. Peter’s Basilica. Every guide takes a dozen people in their multilingual group and listening to them explain the same thing in three different languages is a major wastage of time. It is advisable to do a good amount of reading in advance.