Vatican and then more Rome.
We left our hotel early and went to Vatican. It was a cold morning. I was bundled up in my mother black Mango jacket and a gray scarf. We were given an audio set for our tour of the museum. The tour guides weren’t allowed to raise their voices so they had to use an audio set.
Outside the museum was a long line. Those waiting in line are the walk-ins. Our tour group had an appointment so we were able to get ahead of the line.
Vatican’s coat of arms
Vatican Museum ticket
First we were directed to the side by Amelie, our tour guide, so that she can explain the frescoes of Sistine Chapel. She won’t be able to explain it later because talking is prohibited inside the chapel. Photography is also strictly prohibited so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the frescoes.
The pope assigned a team of Renaissance painters to create a series of frescoes depicting the life of Moses and Christ. And then years after another pope commisioned Michaelangelo to paint the ceiling. Trivia: Michaelangelo did not enjoy painting the ceiling. (I mean who would? Right?) And then years after again another pope commisioned Michaelangelo to paint. This time around he was asked to paint the Last Judgement. In order to do so he painted over an existing painting, two frescoes. And so the contents of these two frescoes have been lost forever.
The museum was filled with different kinds of art (sculptures, paintings, tapestry) It’s amazing to think about how our ancestors created things like the sculptures with such detail using archaic tools.
One of my favorites in the museum is a ceiling painting with parts that don’t look like a painting but are really painting with just awesome 3D painting technique. If you look at the gold frame, for example, that surrounds the middle painting it’s not an actual frame in some sense but is more of a painting of a frame.
Another cool thing is this tapestry. If you look at Jesus’ eyes while walking it’ll seem like his gaze is following you.
The Belvedere Torso said to have influenced Michaelangelo.
A bronze statue of Hercules.
The original Google Maps.
St. Peter’s Square
They were preparing for a mass so there were chairs near the Basilica.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world. Despite it being a tourist attraction it is still able to hold a mass every Sunday. If you’ll observe the photo on the ground in the middle signifies other churches and their lengths as opposed to St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pieta by Michaelangelo
Is protected by a glass panel because it was vandalized years ago.
A statue of St. Peter. Touch or kiss the foot or toe (because that’s the only reachable part) for a blessing.
One of the air vents for the crypt.
These angels hold the basin with the holy water.
Papal Swiss Guards
This ends the Vatican part of the day. 🙂
After exploring the smallest country in the world (Vatican City) we had lunch at a restaurant nearby and then bought some souvenirs after. I also bought some luscious strawberries for the afternoon.
We were headed for the Spanish Steps where in we were able to do some shopping. The H&M store there in Rome was by far the best I’ve been to and the collection of clothes were better than in the other branches we were able to visit during our trip. I was able to buy a shirt and a skirt.
I wish I bought some artworks while we were there. I was saving my money to buy some in Paris by they were far more expensive there. The ones being sold at the Spanish Steps were beautiful as well but far more affordable for me and there were also actually artists that you can pay to draw you.
Overall I wish I did more shopping during our stay in Rome. We were given three hours to shop. Around an hour and a half my mom and I were already tired of walking, our feet were about to give up, so we went back to the meeting place and just sat there. I was able to buy more clothes compared to our shopping excursion at Paris. The stuff in Paris are really high-end and didn’t really fit my budget, maybe some day when I’m earning a sizable amount.
I almost forgot while we were walking around we saw a couple of people dancing in the streets. It’s such a shame that I wasn’t able to take a picture. As I recall they were dancing to the tune of Happy by Pharrell Williams.