Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums

Yes, this is still the same day in Rome! This is way too much to see in one day. No one will agree with you more regarding that statement. Jim and I are still amazed we were there at all and were thankful to see what we did, but we both agree we could have used a whole week to see things in detail. To drink in the beauty and the history that is Rome. To take some GREAT pictures instead of snapping away… but for now this will have to do. I’m loving the fact that I can go back in time and remember all of the details of this glorious trip. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into this wonderful place as much as I enjoyed bringing the memories back to the forefront.

We spent an adequate amount of time in the Court of the Pigna (Court of the Pine Cone) until “tour time” at the Vatican Museums and then onto the Sistine Chapel. It was a fabulous green space with only a few people milling around. We thought it was going to be a nice relaxing tour, but we were wrong about that. The Fontana della Pigna (The Pine cone) was once a fountain, but now just decorates a vast niche in the wall of the Vatican facing the grass courtyard.

Sfera con Sfera (The Sphere within a Sphere) is a gorgeous bronze statue also located in the courtyard. It depicts a huge fractured orb, with more cracked orbs inside. The internal layers seem to imitate the gears of a clock. It symbolizes the fragility and complexity of the world. Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro created this orb in the 1960s.

After our little break, we went around the building and into the entrance of the Vatican Museums. Luckily we were part of a tour and got to skip that extremely long line! The entrance was just concrete – not what I was expecting, but once we got inside, I forgot all about that. The museums “display works from the immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.” – READ MORE

The two statues pictured above are the most well-covered of all there, with most very scantily dressed. We were herded like cattle and shuffled through the Museums trying to snap pictures that didn’t include the hoards before us. It was disappointing because you should really experience this slowly to take it all in and be able concentrate and take great pictures. Not so much today, but we did have a lot on our plate, so I can’t really blame the tour. They said we’d get to see everything – they didn’t say we’d have the place to ourselves. I’d recommend a week in Rome to spend a day in each of the places where we only spent a few hours. Wish we would have found the Trevi Fountain, so we could be guaranteed a trip back to Rome!

When we got to the Sistine Chapel, we were told there was to be no talking and no pictures – both of which fell on deaf ears to some of the hoards. It was frustrating and I could see my husband was ready to say something to some of them, just as a security guy would come around. We also read to be mindful of your belongings while visiting. I guess jam-packed amongst lots of folks, pick pockets just can’t resist, ignoring “Thou shalt not steal” even in this most holy place. Even though we were packed in, it was fabulous. Unlike others who didn’t listen when told not to take pictures I had to enlist help for the photo below so you could see it too. Even had I snuck a picture, it would not have been as beautiful as this. The warm, golden lighting (and the absence of people) make this a wonderful picture of this fabulous chapel. Not much more to say, but “WOW”.

The Cappella Sistina (Sistine Chapel) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. The chapel serves as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. It is the site of the Papal conclave, where a new pope is selected. The white smoke that signifies that the process is complete comes from the chimney of this beautiful place. Most people know of the fabulous frescos that decorate the interior, but in particular the ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo. It is absolutely breathtaking and one of the MOST pinchable moments of the entire trip!

The Vatican State: Don’t miss it!

Next up: St. Peter’s Basilica

Happy trails,

Barbara Olson

Barbara Olson

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