. The second set of stairs was a whole other animal though. Since this set actually wrapped around the dome, the ceiling was really low and at an extreme angle that made walking very awkward; and hot. There were almost no windows here, so the walk was absolutely baking. After the narrow walkways came a really tight spiral staircase leading to the top. After a minute or so of that claustrophic climb, I finally reached the top; drenched in sweat but glad for the amazing view before me. No buildings are allowed to be higher than St. Peters in Rome, which leads to sweaping views for as far as the eye can see. After spending 15 minutes up here "cooling down", I made the treck back down into the church. Using the excuse to cool down again, I made another lap through the church before heading to get something to eat. I found a nice sandwich place away from the Vatican, ate a quick lunch, then made my way to the Vatican Museum. The price was a little steep, 14 Euros, but it was well worth it. The amount and quality of sculptures here was just out of this world. So much talent in this building. Surprisingly, one of my favorite parts of the museum was actually just looking up at all the 3D art on the ceilings. I can't comprehend how how in the world those artists were able to do that. Truely amazing. By the time I was done with the museum, it was time to make my way back home. On the way I had some of the best ice cream of all time for only 2 euros.
I had one mission today; get my holy on. I was going to pretty much spend my entire day at the Vatican. I ended up getting there at around 11:00, and expected serious lines, but it wasn't bad at all. I had to wait all of about 5 minutes before I was inside. After going through the fairly boring tomb of popes, I entered the Bascilica. Holy crap, pun intended. Everything about this place was extreme. The size, the amount and quality of sculptures; the immense size of the church itself; the quality of decorations. Everything. From the millions of mosaic's, to the perfect inlays going all the way up the columns. I wandered through there for at least 45 minutes before venture up to the top of the dome. The cost was 7 euros for the elevator, 5 for the stairs. Since I'm a cheap ass, I chose the stairs. The hike up the first flight of stairs wasn't too bad; they were wide, the hallway was well ventilated, and it wasn't a tight spiral. After reaching the top, I nearly died from the heat though; the jeans really didn't help anything