A trip to Italy would not be complete without a visit to the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican’s amazing museums exhibiting art and artifacts from around the globe. Avery, Bella and I spent our last day together in this home of the Catholic Church and the smallest country in the world.
When we arrived late in the afternoon, we had lunch at a sidewalk cafe and then took a walk around St. Peter’s Square. Since our hotel is in Vatican City and the food is two blocks away in Rome, Avery kept track of how many times we traveled back and forth between two countries.
We had tickets for the museums the next day. Buying them online meant we didn’t have to wait two hours in the sun with 5,000 other people. We were in the museum within about ten minutes. With about 5,000 other people. A day is really not enough to see everything that is important there but here are a few of our favorites.
After following a throng of people for more than an hour through the museums, we arrived at the Sistine Chapel (Avery: “It seems people are not here to see the stuff in the museum but to get through the crowds.”) It’s impossible to capture the splendor of Michelangelo’s frescoes on the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, especially if you are relying on your own photography since visitors may not take photographs in the chapel. Here are a couple of photos that obviously aren’t mine because after using Vic’s Panasonic Lumix with the Leica lens, which is at home, I realize how much my iphone 5 camera sucks.
And how, you may ask, did the Catholic Church get a hold of all of that stuff? Egyptian, Assyrian, Matisse, Greek, pre-Christianity Roman….My research didn’t enlighten me. But the Vatican Museums are surely among the most fun in the world, which I didn’t expect!
So fun in fact that Avery and Bella decided to collapse in our hotel room for the remainder of the afternoon rather than follow me to St. Peter’s Basilica. It turned out to be an easy adventure because that late in the day I didn’t have to wait to buy tickets for the elevator up to the dome. However, I had forgotten that there are 220 steps to the top after you get off the elevator. But I did the steps to the top, and then walked down the 551 steps to the bottom to console myself that I have gained in determination what I have lost in strength and stamina. Along the way, I saw Michelangelo’s Pieta, the giant mosaics of the dome’s interior, and part of evening vespers looking down into the giant, remarkable church sanctuary.
My legs and feet hurt tonight but totally worth it!