St Peter's and Sistine Chapel
Trip Start Sep 25, 2009
34Trip End Nov 04, 2009
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Where I stayed
So many side chapels, monuments and mosaics. The Altar is v impressive. Along the side are tombs containing the bodies of former Pope’s – u can actually see the body inside the glass coffin! I did the audio tour, which was good albeit long and sometimes preachy. I had planned to get there for the 10am mass service (Nan would be proud of me). It was entirely in Italian & only 40 mins because no sermon, but it is a lasting memory for me that I have had communion at the Vatican in St Peter’s Basilica
The museum that surrounds the Sistine Chapel is ENORMOUS. You have to wander thru so many rooms full of Roman artefacts and sculptures, then the Raphael rooms, which are the equivalent of the State Apartments in the Palaces I have seen but no longer used, before u reach the Sistine Chapel. By this time, the immediate grandeur and awe is lost because u have seen so much before. But I found a seat amongst the mass of crowds and sat to admire Michelangelo’s ceiling and I particularly liked 'The Last Judgement’ – I bought a poster that doesn’t fit in my suitcase...that’s going to be difficult in Egypt. No photography permitted in the Chapel (they actually enforce this by removing people’s cameras) and the room is dark, humid and simple. Spent a good 30 minutes admiring the masterpieces; some of the images seem to leap out off the wall. There are painted curtains on the side walls tho, which I found weird – why not have real curtains?!?
There are about 10 bookshops along the museum route, with absurdly over-priced stuff. The audio tour in the museum is 7 euro!! I didn’t do that because it would take too long, and ridiculously expensive on top of the 14 euro entry fee. It’s a church, not a business to make profit!
Eventually got out of the Vatican about 6pm. Had a drink in a pub nearby to rest my weary feet and back. Went down the road from the hotel later on to a bar that I found a flyer for. Not so much a bar, but a cafe. Didn’t hang about long. Think I will go out tomorrow for a Saturday night in Rome.