Day 2's itinerary started with a trip to the Vatican City. The walk towards it is brilliant, as you see St. Peter's growing larger. The Vatican was nothing like I had expected, it is much much grander and prettier. We had learnt from our mistakes and purchased tickets for the Vatican Museum online the night before, so headed straight there in the morning! The museum is HUGE so we could never expect to see it all in one visit, we chose to just see the highlights, including - Pinacoteca, Galleria delle Carte Geografiche, Raphael rooms and of course the Sistine Chapel.
You can't pre-book tickets for St. Peter's so we joined the fairly long queue (about 45 minutes to the entrance) To go up the Dome, there is an additional queue - another 45 mins - we managed to get our tickets to the top. There are quite a lot of stairs - but around half way up you get a pretty awesome viewing platform from inside the dome that allows you to appreciate the scale of the Cathedral. The spiral stairs feel quite strange after this because it becomes slanted with the dome shape! The view from the top was worth the wait and walk...
After a well deserved late lunch at Il Sorpasso we wandered back in to central Rome and explored the area around the Spanish steps. We started at the huge Piazza del Popolo and walked down the shopping streets to Piazza di Spagna. We took our time here, sitting on the steps and people watching, having a coffee at the famous Caffe Grecho and an indulgent aperitif at Hotel de Russie.
We completed the evening going to see the Colosseum by night. It was a really nice walk past the Roman Forum, lots of the ruins are lit up and it's a beautiful walk. We found a lovely little restaurant La Ciambella for some pasta to round off our day.