Vatican City Travel Blog› entry 30 of 42 › view all entries
We took campsite transportation to the Vatican City. We arrived and there was a huge line to get in... we walked around to St. Peter's Square. The Pope was speaking when we got there but there were too many people to get in. Instead we went to a shop to wait where we heard an english speaking tour left from. We lucked out and found the tour after waiting 45 minutes. It was a bit expensive but totally worth it. We paid 40 Euro for the tour and 12 Euro to get inside. The tour was of the Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica. The group only had 10 people in it so it was perfect with the small group. The tour guide was in her young 20's and a student in Rome studying Art and History originally from Texas.
We still had to wait in line however it wasn't as long as when we got there. While we waited in line she told us lots of facts and history about the Vatican City and Rome. It only took an hour in line and we soon found ourselves inside the vatican gates. We learned about the swiss guards while waiting in line and how they are the only ones allowed to protect the vatican. in order to become a Swiss Guard you have to be a good practicing catholic, between teh age of 18-25, trained in the military, and have the equivalence of a black belt and more! Also the uniforms they wear were designed by michelangelo, not one of his better creations.
Once inside we first went to the Picture Gallery.
The ceiling was recently cleaned so it was much brighter than post cards they were selling.
Another painting right above where the pope would preach is the creation of the sun and moon. There is a man in this image with a bare backside so where the first "mooning" took place.
Another is with Adam and Eve. Adam is the one reaching for the forbidden fruit though. Many believe Michelangelo did this to say both men and women are tempted.
The wall mural in the chapel is of Judgement Day that Michelangelo painted 20 years after the ceiling. It may be purposely or by coincidence but it looks like a skull when taking in the whole wall. Also in the corner the "devil" has the face of a cardinal which bad mouthed micheangelo's work. When the cardinal talked to the pope about it he said I have no powers in hell. Most of the people in this mural were naked however later on a pupil of his added cloth to the paintings to make it more acceptable for the chruch. We also saw many of Rafael's tapistries that were made by him and his pupils that used to hang in the sistene chapel.
Next we went into Saint Peter's Basilica. It is enormous. We were told dimensions of things, in feet, which were helpful like learning the size of the lettering around the dome.