On the morning of Tuesday 23rd April we set out immediately after breakfast with the intention of visiting the Vatican Museums. At around 9am we found ourselves, to our dismay, at the end of a dense queue, several deep, and stretching over a hundred yards or so around the corner into the Viale Vaticano before the turn leading into the entrance. There seemed to be little chance of getting in in less than an hour. No sooner than had we arrived at this point than we were set upon by the representatives of various organisations offering to arrange tickets enabling us to avoid the queues and get straight in- at a price. Their persistence made our attempts to discuss the options open to us somewhat vexed. I am not the happiest of persons when I am being pressed to make a quick decision- my wife and I were being tackled simultaneously by a young man and a young woman- so I blurted out, "We'll come back tomorrow morning." "But tomorrow will be the papal audience and so it will be even busier", retorted the young woman. "Nevertheless," I declared, "we go!"- as we made a forceful exit from the queue. I was unsure as to whether we should come to regret that decision since the morrow would be our last day in Rome but I was quite sure I did not want to stand in a long queue being pestered and that even if we were to turn up the following day and find the same problem and so end up resorting to paying a grossly inflated rate for our tickets it would be on account of it being the only option left to us.
We took the Metro then to San Giovanni and headed for the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
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