Monday, September 17, 2012

Vatican City and The Sistine Chapel

Date: August 10, 2012
Itinerary: Vatican City and Sistine Chapel Tour

Our first full day in Rome was our tour of Vatican City including The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.  We did a tour for this particular sightseeing and it was well worth the money for a couple of reasons.  First, the line was VERY long and it was extremely hot outside.  Second, there was so much to see and we wouldn't have had a clue what we were actually looking at without a guide.

By the way, to get to our meeting point, we took the Rome subway and were quite proud of ourselves for making it there on time.  Of course, there were some slight navigational bumps along the way as I am sure many of you can relate to if you've every traveled with your significant other.

Our tour guide was an American Art History major named Michael..who knows..maybe he'll read this someday!  If he does, thanks for guiding us through the crazed crowds of Vatican fanatics.  It was a very busy time to see the Vatican and Micheal did a great job of showing us around amongst the large crowds.

It has only been a month or so and I can barely remember everything we saw at the Vatican.  I do recall a great amount of amazing art pieces and paintings including the most fantastic tapestries I am sure I will see in all of my life.  St. Peter's Basilica was an astoundingly beautiful church with dozens of statues including the Statue of St. Peter.  Apparently if you touch his foot, you will be forgiven of all your sins.  Let's just say that I have a clean slate as of last month!

The best part of the tour was seeing the Sistine Chapel and unfortunately photos are not allowed due to copyright issues.  I thought they weren't allowed because of possibly damage to the paintings but that wasn't the reason at all!  The chapel itself was smaller than I expected and it was mostly empty except for the droves of people who snuck photos and chatted like school children and were told to "Be Quiet" and shushed repeatedly.

Harry Wong (author of First Days of School) wouldn't have been impressed with the lack of discipline in that chapel!  Regardless of all the external disturbances, I certainly enjoyed craning my neck upwards for a good 15 minutes and checking out the impressive works of Michelangelo.  After learning about the art when I was in high school and seeing photos and videos over the years, it was so amazing to see the frescoes in person.  That was kind of a theme for our trip to Italy in fact.  It was simply awesome to see all of these famous places in person and we were not at all disappointed.

Photos depicting the paintings in the Sistine Chapel.  Photos are not allowed inside.
One of dozens of paintings inside Raphael's Rooms

One of the amazing tapestries..look at the detail and vivid colour!
The Swiss Guard wearing their uniforms designed by Michelangelo
St. Peter's Basilica

Next up on our trip was the tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.  We took the upgraded tour to see the underground and top floors so we managed to get some excellent photos.  I haven't had much time to even check them out myself so I am looking forward to that blog post too!


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