Crossing the border into...the Vatican!

Rome Travel Blog

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Raphael - The School of Athens

We spent today in the Vatican.  We boarded our own bus this morning (not public transportation) for the Vatican at 8:30 AM.  It took us about an hour and a half to get down there and navigate to the entrance of the Vatican Museum.  We had to go through metal detectors to enter.  Katie Snedeker has her Swiss Army knife with her by accident.  Luckily, they didn’t take it from her.  We stood in the atrium for a while waiting for our tour guide.  Finally, we were escorted to a side room where we got headsets and heard about the Sistine Chapel from our guide since it’s too hard to navigate in there.

Michelangelo - Pieta

            After that we were off for our guided tour of parts of the Vatican Museum.  I wish I could remember more of what I saw or heard but I was too busy trying to keep up with our tour guide not only on foot but listening too.  At one point, Katie and I realized we were at the beginning of the tapestry room while our tour guide had somehow made it to the other end of this quarter mile room.  During the running, however, there were times when I would stop to see something I recognized from class including Raphael’s School of Athens.

            At the end of the tour, our tour guide directed us to the entrance of the Sistine Chapel.

Katie, Allie, Sarah, Matt and I in front of St. Peters
  I couldn’t believe how big it actually was and moreover that every inch of it was hand painting by some great artists.  It was amazing how they were able to match their colors and styles in order to seem consistent within the chapel.  I was able to follow most of the stories from church of the life of Jesus on one wall and Moses on the other.  The 9 part ceiling was dived into 3 sections:  early creation, Adam & Even, and Isaac.  It was pretty breath-taking!

            We grabbed a sandwich (which they called pizza even though it was folded over) and some chips and sat on a nearby bench.  After lunch, we walked to St. Peters and sat in the square watching pigeons and waiting for our 3 o’clock meeting time for going into the basilica.  I couldn’t believe how big the Vatican looked.  Looking at the colonnade from the other side, I felt like I was looking at something fake, a picture or movie.

            St. Peters was even more surreal.  I felt so small among the oversized statues and art.  Immediately when I walked in, I saw the Pieta on the right.  It was a lot smaller than I expected it to be but I was also viewing it from a distance and comparing it to the remainder of the enormous church.  

            Amazingly enough, when we finished seeing St. Peters and the catacombs it was close to 5 PM.  We found a bus stop and headed back to the hotel.  When we stopped to switch buses, I got some stacchiatella gelato which hit the spot after the long day.  Once we got back to the hotel, we grabbed our laundry and headed back to the bus stop to take it to a self-service place we heard about.  Allie and Sarah went to get dinner of pizza (again) for the rest of us and we ate while we waiting for our laundry to wash and dry.  It only took about an hour and then we came back to the hotel.  I called Mallory to wish her a Happy Birthday, did my concert report, and then got on the Internet.  Hopefully, I'll get some sleep before getting on the bus at 8 AM.

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Raphael - The School of Athens
Raphael - The School of Athens
Michelangelo - Pieta
Michelangelo - Pieta
Katie, Allie, Sarah, Matt and I in…
Katie, Allie, Sarah, Matt and I i…
photo by: vulindlela