Vatican

Day 109- The Vatican

Today we got up earlier than usual so we could have as much time as possible to visit the Vatican!  

We started at the Vatican Museum. It was a big and beautiful museum with endless rooms and long coridors full of ancient works!  

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This long hallway (120 meters!) was filled entirely with maps of different areas of Italy! 

Each room had intricate and colorful ceilings, too.

Each room had intricate and colorful ceilings, too.

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Then, at the end of the stream of rooms, was the Sistine Chapel! We weren’t allowed to take photos, but they wouldn’t have captured it anyway! It was a very tall, narrow room with the walls and ceiling making up one entire masterpiece of Michelangelo. Each panel on the wall showed a different Biblical scene and the figures look 3 dimensional! 

After leaving the chapel, we stopped at a cafe for some tea while we let the awe of the chapel sink in a little before heading to the Basilica.

In St. Peter’s Square, we stood in line for about 40 minutes (which was nothing compared to waiting hours in the heat of summer) to get through security before getting into St. Peter’s Basilica. 

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Once inside the Basilica, we didn’t know where to look first! Every inch was filled with sculptures in beautiful stone or metal. 

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This alter in the middle of the Basilica, looks like it is draped in fabric, but it is entirely made of bronze!

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   We found the sculpture below to be particularly striking as it depicts Pope Alexander VII praying in a meditative state even while dreath approaches. Then beneath the skeleton of death is a doorway to his tomb. 

 

We found the sculpture below to be particularly striking as it depicts Pope Alexander VII praying in a meditative state even while dreath approaches. Then beneath the skeleton of death is a doorway to his tomb. 

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All along the walls are different chapels of varying sizes created by Popes throughout the centuries. 

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Once we made a full loop around the Basilica, we went underneath to the catacombs. The area was mostly light colored marble with marble caskets in a row. Some were quite basic while others were very extravagant. 

The path through the tombs took us straight outside and we slowly walked through St. Peter’s Square before exciting the Vatican and taking a bus back to our place for the evening!