Rome: coffee and a little Vatican
Wednesday, October 3.
before heading off to our first ever visit to the Vatican. We had hoped to get a private tour with someone from the Vatican so about a month before our trip I followed all of the instructions listed on the Vatican web site by faxing the vatican our preferred & back up dates. The day we arrived in Rome at the B&B, Luciano tells us that the day before he received a fax confirmation from the Vatican for our reservation time booked the morning of our arrival. Kinda hard to be at the Vatican when you aren’t in Rome yet but instead sitting in a freezing airport in Germany. So, needless to say my plan to save a bit of dough by going through the Vatican (23€) didn’t exactly pan out but we did find a tour to join at the last minute. I ended up contacting Tony with 3 Millennia Tours whom I had heard about on Slow Travel. The total cost for two people was 50€ plus the 13€ ticket each to get into the Vatican. We met Tony near the Vatican entrance at 1:30 and with a group of about 7 people and we made our way into tourist hell, I mean, Vatican City. I’m kidding..sort of 🙂
The line wasn’t too long. Many people suggest that if you don’t have a reservation that this is a good time to go since many people are already inside or having lunch. This theory proved correct as we waiting about 15 minutes at most to get inside to buy our tickets. Photo of entrance:
You really have to see this place for yourself to grasp its enormity. It’s freaking huge. And there is so much to see that you really need hours to really see things. I’m not even talking about seeing everything but just to truly see the things you are looking at instead of passing quickly by them which unfortunatley with the number of people around you and being at the mercy of a group you do sort of fly by stuff. I wish there hadn’t been so many people. I laughed when Tony said this was a fairly calm day in comparison to more busy times. I can hardly remember most of what we saw now so I’ll have to refer to pictures for help. For me some of the highlights were the huge courtyard with the gigantic acorn sculpture. Acorns are a big symbol for Romans…wish I could remember the significance. Hmm..should probably look that one up.
Other highlights, oh yes again in the courtyard there was this gigantic sphere that Tony made spin…that was pretty cool. It was roped off and he asked a guard if he could make it spin. He got permission to spin it and everyone sort of freaked out who wasn’t with our group because I mean who expects some giant ball to start spinning in the middle of the Vatican’s backyard?
My favorite room in the Vatican Museums were the Raphael Rooms. I loved these paintings far more than the Sistene Chapel. The contradiction of religion v. science was truly mindblowing considering the same questions exist today. Raphael’s use of light in his work is facinating and beautiful. I didn’t find the Sistene Chapel as awe inspiring. I’m not sure what I expected. Greatness, I suppose. The restoration is pretty amazing. They’ve left a small corner to show you what it looked like before and there is a huge difference. Apparently some Japanese company did the restoration for free but the trade off is they own all the rights to all photos of the SC. That means you can’t take pictures. Not that people paid any attention to that rule. I myself, might have even cheated and took one photo. I found it very difficult to enjoy the SC because of the wall to wall people and loudness. You are supposed to be quiet after all it is a Chapel. You should be taking time to reflect and absorb this great room but that is really hard to do when people wont shut the hell up and you’ve got some Vatican guy screaming every few minutes to PLEASE BE QUIET. Yeah, joy to the world and shut the f*** up! We split the SC after about 10 minutes. Tony allowed us 15 minutes but nobody seemed all that interested in hanging out to enjoy the sites. Moving on..
Next we went into St Peter’s Bascilica. At that point, Tony ended the tour. I admit I was disappointed or was it suprised? Ok it was both that the tour ended before we even got inside the church. I kinda thought that was a part of the tour. Oh well. Still loved it but I would have enjoyed a little FYI factual info on the place. It was amazing. You are just about knocked on your ass when you walk in the door. It’s just huge. HUGE. So beautiful. Did I mention it was big. Yeah. Really big. People seemed more respectful in the church but it is so big you could easily get away from someone who might be acting stupid, ie annoying the crap out of you. That was nice. I shall post some photos for you so you can see for yourself. But seriously you should see it for yourself.
Filed under: italy, My trips, Rome, Travel | 1 Comment