Greeting the Pope- Vatican city
Rome Travel Blog› entry 19 of 32 › view all entries
It was a sunny and a bit hazy morning. Again it is amazing that how those old memories are still alive. We had espressor in the morning, and took some chocolates. Weirdly enough, we were not hungry in the morning, perhaps because of the thought that this is the day finally we are going to see Vatican city. I was particularly interested in St.Paul's, Swiss guards, and Sistine chapel. Sounds so touristic but we were tourist anyways!
We took the bus (as I recall it was No. 65), and had been warned so many times about pickpocketing and thieves in the bus. Grabbing so tight my napsack, and the weather was just proper for mid July-so hot. I still remember the moment I stood in the plaza of St.Paul's. The sky has speckles of clouds but absolutely peaceful, and the statues were standing there with their ugly revonation facility. If they were not like that, I could have stood up one hour more to enjoy being in the center of vatican city. Besides, it was pretty hot, and we directly went to see Swiss guards. I was curious why Swiss guards were selected to protect the Pope, later I found out that they are the best well-known fighters at old days. Trained in mountain fighting and perhaps good physical strength, Swiss guards were quite popular in Europe as mercenaries, and the Pope was not the exception of "valued customer". Their dress is one time exemplified as one of the best uniform which can show masculine features, which I am not so confident about why still.
The spiral stairs is quite impressive inside, with so many people, but they were all quiet in general. Because of its building material (Marble and granite), the inside is a natural air-conditioner which can effectively cover that strong sunlight. It is also true that most of other churches are also like that, so one can easily imagine people might have liked to pray and enjoy the cool air inside at the same time. I took the audio tour, and my feet stopped at Sistine chaple to see the last judgement. To my knowledge, this is one of the most audacious production of what Michaelangelo had in mind, and the gigantic scale of ceiling is more than enough to overwhelm observers for hundreds of years. One pitiful thing is that the color is now becoming dim, faces are blurred, but just have an imagination of the first day when the painting is finally over and exposed to the public, or even the day of finishing with final touch of brush would be very exciting. We might hear the voice of Italians including archbishops to praise,gratify and applaud in Italian. Like many other masterpieces, this one brought many tourists. But Michaelangelo must have understood the powerful effect of painting on the ceiling, with more of 3-D effect of Avatar, and because of the content of painting is what happens in "the god's area", the auras and divinity of the entire piece is amplified by astronomical order.
After this thrilling experience, we headed to St.Peter's Basillica, and saw finally Michaelangelo's Pieta. Even though you are not brainwashed by textbooks, these art pieces are enough to give you an impression that Michaelangelo was so good at incarnating supernaturality into tangible art pieces. Surely it was the whole day of experience of Italian Renaissance. The night was still so clear and air become dry. We went to piazza d'espagna again and put another small coin to Fontana di Trevi. The second day in Rome was finally coming to an end.