First off, Katie reminded me of a funny encounter I forgot to post in Rome day 1.
While walking I set off a car alarm, Katie quickly ran away from me, laughing historically. I’m sure no one suspected anything.
So, yesterday, we went to Vatican City. First I should say that when we got ready it was nice, so, we obviously decided a) to wear canvas shoes and b) not bring our jackets. Brilliant. I think that since we decided not to dress prepared we tested the weather. We got on the top of the double decker bus, and about 10mins into our bus ride it started to rain. No big deal…. Until it started to pour. Our next thought was this wasn’t going to be so bad because once at the Vatican most things were inside.
Well, it wasn’t. We found a ‘skip the line tour’ that we had to walk 6 blocks to get our ticket in the rain. We did decide to buy an umbrella for the tour as to stay a little dry. We also though the most of the tour would be inside, since we were seeing the Sistine Chapel & St. Paul’s cathedral. But again, the joke was on us, because there are a lot of outside balconies where neat stuff is. But even though it rained, and we weren’t prepared for the 15000 steps we would take in a short time, it was amazing.
The Vatican City is its own little country. Has its own schools, hospital, stores etc. you even have to go through security to get in, the Swiss guards are there to guard all the entrances. The Vatican City also doesn’t pay taxes, me is one of the richest countries! Not like anyone can move there though, popes, their families, etc. We saw pope Benedict’s apartment from before he was elected pope, which was right across the street from the Vatican.
What I didn’t know, was that the collection of art in the Vatican was originally simply for the pleasure of the pope, including the Sistine chapel. Popes back then weren’t so kind as we see them today, Michael Angelo actually tried to refuse the job because he had never painted, but the pope made him come, the first time he was there he lived in the chapel for 5 years completing the ceiling. The second time was 4 years completing the painting at the front of the chapel. Each pope after would add to the collection, statues, old artifacts, marble sculptures, tapestries, and every detail is thought of. The floors are marble mosaics the walls are beautiful. Everything is incredible.
You see a lot before you even get to the Sistine chapel, and the anticipation grows. Once in there there is no talking an no cameras. And all I can say is it is amazing. It is impossible to take in all that is there and the beauty of it, and how amazing the techniques are especially for that time. It is huge, and amazing. We stayed in awe for quite a while, just admiring from everywhere you moved. Imply beautiful.
After the Sistine chapel, we went to St. Peter’s cathedral. Again, every detail is amazing, the walls, floors, ceiling, statues, everything, it was amazing to see in person. It is the biggest church in the world and the 2nd biggest dome in the world. The 2nd biggest church is the Santa Maggiore which we saw on Monday.
The bus ride home was much dryer – well it wasn’t raining, the bus was still wet, and the floor was flooded, which caused me to sit with my legs up. Katie thought it was funny, but my feet had been through enough, so she felt it was necessary to document this.