So on Saturday morning Jen and I had an early tour of Vatican City. We arrived at 7:45 and were let in at 8 o’clock. Usually the general public is allowed in at 9 so we were able to skip out on a huge crowd. We went to the Sistine Chapel first before a lot of tours had gotten there. I think there may have been twenty other people in there when we were looking around. Which is amazing because when we went back through at 10:15ish you could hardly get through the crowd. The Sistine Chapel was so beautiful. My favorite part was God giving life to Adam with Eve under his arm. It is so simple but has so much meaning behind it. I can’t imagine how patient Michelangelo was when he was doing both paintings.
After about 30 minutes we headed out to tour the Vatican Museum. I’m going to be honest here, I was blown away by the collection of artifacts, tapestries, paintings, sculptures, etc. that the museum had. If I remember correctly our guide said that the entire Museum is a total of 10 miles. It was absolutely amazing. I would like to say, due to my current conditions, that I have been dreaming of a bath in a bathtub. So my favorite piece was a giant jacuzzi.
I also thought the maps the museum had were very interesting. Especially when it came to the Americas because it was the New World and they didn’t know what it actually looked like. To them it was just a cluster with no defining lines.
After the Vatican Museum, we ventured over to St. Peter’s Basilica. This is where there was a mob of people because by this time the general public had been let in. I’m sure most of you know that St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world. They actually have a place in the center where you can see the measurements of other churches that have tried to beat it. The second largest church is in L.A. This place was ah-mazing. Every “painting” in there is actually a mosaic. I can’t just pick one thing that I loved so I have a top three:
1. Michelangelo’s Pieta. He first sculpted this at the age of 21. Twenty One. What am I doing with my life? haha. Anyways, the Pieta was damaged by a mentally unstable guy who broke off fingers and the nose of Mary. The nose that is on her now is from plaster.
2. The Pope John whose body has never decomposed. Morbid is a pretty good way to describe it, but it is fascinating to me how his body never decomposed. Also, people now believe he is a saint because that is his second miracle.
3. The structure in itself. It truly is such a beautiful piece of work. While we were there we saw a woman getting married in one of the chapels–how cool! Also the canopy in the center of the Basilica where the pope stands. It is made out of bronze and it is huge, I tell ya.
From the tour, Jen and I grabbed lunch and took a nap before our next tour. You should know that Jen and I soaked up as much AC as time allowed. Probably explains why Jen is sick due to the temperature change. When we were leaving lunch though, I spotted this place called Laduree which sold macaroons. I had never tasted them before, so I loaded up on all kinds of flavors like chocolate, caffe, strawberry, salted caramel, vanilla, and pistachio. They were pretty good. The consistency was a lot different than I expected. I expected more of a crunch when I bit into them instead of the soft texture. I can’t really even describe what the texture was. Anyways, my favorite was vanilla and strawberry.
Our next tour was a car tour and our guide was named Claudia. She was very sweet and very informative. She and her driver took us all around Rome. I had the option of renting a golf cart and driving myself, but I was told I would assume all liabilities. I made the more adult decision to not rent the golf cart and opt for the driver. It was also raining so that was one of the determining factors too. My favorite place that she took us was to a door where you can peak in this tiny whole. She didn’t tell me what it was before I looked, so for some ungodly reason I thought it was going to be some lion. I wouldn’t have come up with this on my own I think I misunderstood her from her broken english. I couldn’t really capture the shot, but when you look through you have a perfect view of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.