In the middle of my second day in Rome, I thought I'd visit the smallest fully independent country in the world. You guessed it...the Vatican City, home to the Vatican of course, the pope, and the Swiss guard. Besides being the smallest country in the world, (with just 850 residents) the Vatican City has it's own telephone system, post office and newspaper. I was a bit confused by a sign (see below) that seemed like it was saying that along with the stipulation that you must dress modestly to enter, that you must also not be missing any limbs, anyway...
Can I just say that i have never been more in awe of a church or building in general? When I went into St.
Peter's Basilica, I didn't have enough money to pay for a tour, so I sort of trailed 10 feet behind one, (wandering off every few minutes or so, in hopes that I wouldn't get yelled at) What amazed me the most was that there is not even a single drop of paint in the place.You heard me right. "Paintings" more than 10, 20, 30 feet high aren't paintings at all, but instead huge, ridiculously detailed tiled mosaics made from goodness knows how many different colors. The rest is beautiful marble. And the pope's stand (or alter or whatever it's called) that looks huge? It could fit through the "tiny" hole at the top of the dome, which is an impressive 42m in diameter, making it the largest dome in the world. The height is equally impressive at 138m high. Things aren't quite what they seem in the Vatican, which I thought was crazy cool. How many alters are there, you might ask? 45!!! I have no idea why so many are needed, but who's to question the pope?
LOVE this picture!
After touring the basilica, I went outside to take more pictures and find some gelato.
I decided I needed a picture of myself to prove I had actually been there, as all my other pictures in Rome were of the city, and finally found a family I decided I could trust to not run away with my camera. When I told them I was there alone, despite my parents thinking I was with friends (I was supposed to meet people, but ends up they had no money on their phones and couldn't receive or make calls), the girls my age offered to take a picture with me to make it seem like I hadn't wandered off to a foreign country by myself. I politely declined and thought the offer was funny.
Now off to attempt to see the rest of Rome in an afternoon-I had to be at the bus for the airport by 7!