This morning I headed into the Vatican City to see the historic sites such as the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St Peters Basilica. While I am not Catholic, I still appreciate the history of Christianity. Not only did the tours bring education of the physical buildings but also how power played into why Vatican City is on its own away from Rome. I got to see some of the places I saw on tv a couple of months ago when the new Pope was elected.
My favorite parts of today's tour was the sculptures and architecture. I can really appreciate the skill and time that must have gone into them. I had no idea the the marble statue carvings were painted in their time since all I have seen to date were plain stone with no paint. I can only imagine how intricate some of these were. The ceilings in all the buildings were wonderful and no nook or cranny is left unfilled. Everywhere your eye can see is filled with a story or myth.
The stories that Michelangelo tells in his paintings go through many of the stories in the Bible with a Michelangelo twist. It seems he had a very difficult personality and used his paintings to put down his enemies. You wouldn't want to cross Michelangelo or face seeing your likeness in a bad light in paintings that have lasted the test of time. Michelangelo's humor and portrayals were not liked by all and I found it interesting that there was a time that his naked paintings were covered with fig leaves.
The serenity in the Sistine Chapel was contacted being broken from the rebel tourists trying to sneak pic which is against the rules and received a stern tongue lashing from the guard. After a small neck ache from looking up at the ceiling for a bit we continued.
We learned everything from the early roman times to the most recent Pope. I was surprised that there was a very modern piece in one of the courtyards. It seems very out of place surrounded by history. I am not sure of the story of the piece but would be interested in why it was brought into the courtyard.
Today I just couldn't fathom another big Italian meal. I took lunch easy today and figured I would save room for gelato. So far my favorite flavor....strawberry cheesecake. Yum.
After searching for a place to eat, I happened upon a spot from my travel book. The ravioli in a mushroom sauce was just devine. And to cap the night off I enjoyed a desert glass of moscato.