Visiting The Vatican inevitably evokes strong feelings. Regardless of your faith—Catholic, Christian, other, or none—the rich tapestry of history within Vatican City resonates deeply.

If you’re like me, you might not have fully connected the dots between Jesus, Peter (from the Bible), The Vatican, Rome, the Roman Empire, and the politics intertwined among them until you walk through the Vatican Museums.

I don’t have a definitive opinion on the matter today, and perhaps I never will. My opinions in July 2024 on Popes, Catholics, the Roman Empire, and The Vatican might not hold much significance.

However, I did take photos of the museums, the grounds, and the Sistine Chapel during my visit.

A note on taking photos in the Sistine Chapel: the signage and staff inside the chapel ask visitors not to take photos, often emphatically reminding people with calls of “no photos”. My best understanding is that the restriction is due to copyright concerns, despite the artwork being over 500 years old.

So I disregarded the call because I don’t respect it. Happy to receive feedback on why I should, but I don’t believe it to be important today.

I hope you enjoy all 44 images.