Rise and shine! One amazing day down in Rome and today it was time to hit up Vatican City. In our typical fashion, most of the morning was spent arguing about what to wear. As children we are always supposed to assume we know more than are parents and the Keith girls are no exception! Entirely convinced that we could wear whatever we want to visit this revered city, and definitely persuaded by the undeniable heat of Rome in the summer, we refused to listen to our dad’s warnings that we needed to be properly “covered up” before setting out on our day and sure enough…he was right! A tough pill to swallow but we’ll admit it none-the-less. Upon arriving we quickly learned that a stop by one of the many local street venders to buy scarves before entering was our only option. So, heads up, when visiting Vatican City in the summer, put a scarf in your purse because it’s too hot to wear one outside of the Vatican but you can’t enter without something covering you either! But, I digress, before touring the immense and world-renowned halls of the Vatican where did we stop? Yep, you guessed it. McDonald’s. We may have a lot of surprises for you in our travels and restaurant choices but our love of McDonald’s will never be one of them. In our infinite visits to McDonald’s around the world we had never seen bacon on the menu before so, naturally, we got the bacon double cheeseburger, the bacon and cheese fries and the tasty basket that had chicken wings, chicken nuggets and cheese balls to carry on with our walk. Thank god we had 10 miles to trek to help burn those calories!
Buttttt…..If you thought that was our lunch, then you don’t know us. After securing our entry for the price of two scarves we still had time some time to kill before our guided tour began so we had lunch at Spaghetti Cucina Italiana. It is right outside the walls of The Vatican City…. The architecture of the Vatican was designed with the purpose of exuding the feeling of open arms encircling you but, with all do respect to St. Pete’s Square, it looked more like prison walls from outside to us. After a meal of our classic Italian favorites, an array of pasta, prosciutto and melon it was time for our tour and can we just say…inside those “prison walls”… WOW. The majesty of this remarkable landmark, relevant both historically and to our modern world, was simply magnificent. Having chosen the private tour ourselves, but also knowing plenty of friends whom have gone with a public tour, we have to admit going with the private tour is definitely worth the extra cash. In choosing the private tour we were able to move at our own pace, pause to ask questions, and see what interested us without having to stop at every single artifact, structure, and painting. For our first time visitors to Vatican City out there, the building and gardens are absolutely massive and boast an impressive wealth of art and history but could easily take multiple days to go through every piece it has to offer. So, for our fellow travelers looking to see as much as you can in a confined about of time, some cuts need to be made. However, speaking of short cuts, one that we absolutely do NOT recommend skipping is seeing the Sistine Chapel. Yes, it is very crowed in there, but… there is absolutely a reason for that. One of Michangelo’s un-missable masterpieces, the time and energy that went into this aw-inspiring creation, and the unbelievable attention to detail, will truly take your breath away. No camera’s allowed though so don’t forget to take a mental snapshot! And until you can go visit, here’s a picture from the internet haha.
After a long but well-worth-it day in the Holy City, we took some much-needed rest and turned our attention to choosing a restaurant for dinner! Never girls to make restaurant decisions lightly, after much research we finally landed on Magnolia Restaurant. Magnolia is a Michelin Star restaurant located inside the Grand Hotel Via Veneto and we were very eager to see what all the fuss was about but, I’m sorry to report, we didn’t have quite the same experience as some of the more generous critics had. Hey, no one said we weren’t honest?! The presentation on most of our dishes was absolutely exquisite, so we have to give credit where credit is due, however, the taste did not match the beauty of the dishes by a mile. Morgan ordered a ravioli dish that was a representation of the Monaco Grand Prix racetrack, with the raviolis as the racecars and we were overwhelmed with excitement to try it but unfortunately, the flavor just didn’t match the description! I guess that’s why they say you don’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive first! My order on the other hand, paled even worse in comparison as, where at least the presentation of Morgan’s meal was something worth mentioning, Miss Kristin Keith over here decided to order a meat and truffles dish that bore a disturbing resemblance to a plate of moss. So, can’t say we recommend Magnolia it but if you visit we certainly hope you have a better experience than us! The chef at the end of dinner was an absolute doll though so, at least there’s that!