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Laundry day and oh yeah, Vatican City

Rome Travel Blog

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St Peter's
Today was the day I set aside for Vatican City, which wasn't really by choice as the Vatican Museum isn't opened on Sundays. I left the hostel at 7am (a new early morning record), so that I would be at St. Peter's Basilica by 7:30. It was a good decision as I didn't have to wait in line to get in. St. Peter's is hard to describe except to say that it looks like any other church just waaaaaaay bigger. Not just the size of the church, but everything in it is huge, from the paintings to the statues. The Dome is as high as a football field. I walked from about 3/4 of the way from the front door (where a seven story bronze altar sits) to the front door and it took me 200 steps. The other 1/4 is where the smaller masses are held which looked like the size of a regular 'big' church.
St Peter's Square
I took some pictures, but they really don't do the place justice in terms of he sheer size of the place. There's also a lot of tombs in the church but that creeped me out and I didn't go down to see them.

I was planning on climbing to the top of the Dome but the line at 8am was already long, so I walked to the line to the Vatican Museum, home of the Sistine Chapel. The line itself doesn't tell you much in terms of how long you're going to wait since it snakes around a couple corners. So just when you think you're near the entrance, you turn the corner and see you still have a long way to go! I ended up in line for just over 2 1/2 hours (beat that Disney World!). I met a guy from Ireland and his parents. He's in Rome studying to be a priest.
inside the church
He had lots of inside information on St. Peter's and I think I'll go there tomorrow and check it out again.

The museum itself is ok. It's huge and has lots of stuff in it. I didn't go on a tour or rent an audioguide so for the most part, I didn't know what I was looking at. I enjoyed the Egyptian rooms and the 'map room'. It was really long and full of old painted maps of Italy and surrounding areas. Besides that, the main focus is to see the Sistine Chapel, which is easy to find since it's where all the hordes of people are walking toward. I don't know what I was expecting but what I saw wasn't it. Once I sat down and looked around, I saw how incredible the place is. Everything is painted onto the walls, but it really does look 3D, and unconceivable that someone was able to figure out how to paint on a ceiling what would look real while standing on the floor, looking up.
There's a (really loud) announcement every 10 minutes or so in four languages saying to be quiet and not to take pictures. The loudness of the announcements kind of negates the message for everyone to be quiet! Even if I was aloud to take pictures, they wouldn't do the place justice ... you really have to see it for yourself to see what all the fuss is about!

When I left around 12, the line was about twice as long as it had been when I got there earlier. I'm glad I went when I did!

The problem with laundry day, is what to wear to go get the laundry washed. All I had left was a pair of shorts, a sports bra and my rain jacket. The guy here at the hostel recommended a gelato place ("that serves the best gelato in Rome" about a 25 minute walk from here.
the small church inside the church
So while my laundry was getting washed, I walked there. I'm sure the people walking by me thought I was nuts wearing what I was wearing! The gelato was indeed the best I've had so far (and this is after a gelato a day since I arrived in Italy). I'm a huge fan of pistachio and this was by far the best! While eating my gelato on the bench outside, the guy next to be offered me a cigarette .. I guess there's a first time for everything! (no, I didn't accept!) :)

In the hostel, I met two girls from Toronto that are studying at King's (next to Dalhouise where I studied). It was nice to hear stories from back in Halifax, and from two girls that just finished their first year! It brought back some memories!! :)

We went out to a restaurant that brings out 'sharing sized' portions of pasta so we got to try four different kinds and of course try some lovely red wine. En route to the restaurant, we came across a street party next to the colosseum. It was absolutely crazy with large trucks parked in the street blaring music with lots of people dancing. Very random indeed!

Also sharing our room are two guys from Australia that have me thinking about going! Ohhhhh!
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St Peters
St Peter's
St Peters Square
St Peter's Square
inside the church
inside the church
the small church inside the church
the small church inside the church
part of the line
part of the line
a statue inside the Vatican Museum
a statue inside the Vatican Museum
Kitties!
Kitties!
The colosseum at night
The colosseum at night
Rome
photo by: vulindlela