When in Rome… You know what they say, but I’d actually recommend doing things a little differently.
One of the smallest of changes/challenges you can do to see things a little differently is avoiding the usual times for the must-see and must-do.
Getting up and out a bit earlier than most people is surprisingly effective in offering views that are totally different from the usual tourist crowded ones.
Getting in a place when it is kept open into the night is unfortunately rare, but all the more interesting for it, too.
A Night at the Vatican Museum
In Rome, or really the Vatican City, one of the most interesting night events you may get a chance to see and partake in are the Vatican Museum‘s night openings.
Held every Friday during the (extended – April to October) summer season, entry for the night opening begins at 7pm, and the museum holds open until 11 pm.
Getting the ticket online in advance will cost you 4 Euro in addition to the 16 Euro entrance fee (same as during the day), but the online reservation is highly recommended whenever you go; it saves you the hassle, if not hours, of waiting in line.
The museum not only looks different with the ambiance of artificial light alone, it feels different. Particularly so when concerts accompany the night opening and the music drifts in and out of hallways while you amble through them.
Of course, that kind of light isn’t ideal for the action cam I use to shoot a lot of my videos. My apologies, therefore, for the quality of the images – but I think they still give an impression of what such a night visit is like, Sistine Chapel and all:
Morning Running around an Entire State
Between the Vatican City and San Marino, Italy is home to two of the world’s smallest states, and I rather enjoy the silliness of an early morning run there.
Where other than in Rome, thanks to the Vatican’s standing as independent country, could you go out for a little early morning run and come back claiming you ran around an entire state?
Such an early morning is, of course, another time through which you can see things differently, make yourself a little more at home in this world.
Where tourist hordes roam during the main part of the day, and where you could be nothing but the tourist when in the midst of them, you can be alone with the city and a few locals when you get up and out for the sunrise.
Here, too, my action cam is not ideal, but less-than-ideal impressions are still better than none:
Chances are, you’ll still end up just another one of the mass of tourists often enough. And you’ll still want to visit various places like that, anyways.
All the nicer to gain other impressions, too.