The Vatican is basically the roman catholic church’s own state.
The raving mad Italian dictator Mussolini gave the Vatican state to the pope during his oppression period.
from here this autocracy spreads its ridiculous superstitions around the world. Its the worlds richest state per capita, and surprisingly enough, they have the lowest birth rate in the world.
As one of my personal idols* said in the “root of all evil” ( if you want to observe ridiculous old customs performed in an ancient dead language ) no-one does it better than the catholics.
Anyway visiting the Vatican clearly illustrates what sort of wealth 3000 years of looting, steeling, plundering and scamming can amass.
Getting into the Vatican:
The line to get into the Peters church or the Vatican Museum is usually several kilometers long, unless you are prepared to wait over 3 hours just to get inn make sure you are at the entry point at ca 10:00 in the morning, start walking down alongside the line of people. Keep a lookout for people in the line that look like they are organizing a group of people. (these are usually independent tour guides) anyway if you cant see anyone just walk half a block down stop and try to look touristy (hold a map, vacant confused look, scratch your arse) within 3 minutes someone will come up to you and offer you a place on their tour.
By buying a place in a tour group like this you can usually be inside the museum within 10-15 minutes of arriving, once inside you can go with the tour guide (highly recomended) or throttle off on your own – tell the guide if you are leaving the group after getting inside the museum.
Inside the Vatican Museum:
The Vatican museum is enormous! it has over 1400 rooms and incredible amounts of priceless art, in fact almost everything inside is art. The walls, ceiling, floo… everything is pompously decorated to such an extent that its nauseating.
More excessive display of welth
The tour will usually cover the most important stuff to look at in the museum as well as the sixteenth chapel.
* – Richard Dawkins –