Friday, March 21, 2014

Rome - Day 10

Off to the Vatican for a private viewing of the Sistine Chapel this morning. Everything here is amazing. We passed the Palace of Caesar below. We also pass the Baths of Caracalla.

We also passed a stone bridge still in use today that is over 2,100 years old. People still walk across the bridge with no renovations needed so far. We crossed a bridge with Bernini statues and looked up to a round building called the Castel Sant'Angelo or the Castle of Angels. The bridge with the white statues is the Angel Bridge.

We started in the galleries and then to the Cappella Sistina or the Sistine Chapel. There are no pictures in the chapel and no talking. They are very strict about these rules. There is also a dress code that everyone must follow to enter. No hats or shorts for men or women. Women's shoulders must be covered and dresses or pants must cover the knee.

The Sistine Chapel is breathtaking. We spent about 25 minutes viewing the ceiling. Our guide shared some interesting stories prior to entering the chapel. We entered Vatican city at 8am prior to the general public at 9. The lines were massive as we were entering and we got to just walk on by.

We were able to see several galleries with paintings and tapestries along our walk through the Vatican from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica.

This guy is tucked away in the back part of a room. He was the first statue done in motion.

The above is actually a painting on a ceiling.

This beautiful ceiling is not even the focus of this room. The tapestries hanging on the wall are the important features.

We have special permission to enter St. Peter's Basilica directly from the Sistine Chapel. This is one of the courtyards we pass through along the way.

These are the Jubilee doors. The Pope opens them every 25 years and they stay open for one year. It is said that all your sins are forgiven when you pass through these doors. The last time 30 millions pilgrims traveled to the Vatican to pass through these doors.

The Basilica is one of the biggest churches in the world. Inside are many works of art.

The Pieta by Michelangelo

The Baldaquin and the Cupola.

Bernini is main artist of St. Peter's all of the images are mosaics not paintings.

There is also a mummified pope with a bronze mask here.

St. Peter's square is a work of art itself.

2nd window from the right is where the new pope waves when appointed.

The view from the square.

The Swiss Guard have worn the same uniforms for 500 years and they are the official army of the Pope.

After a quick lunch outside the Vatican we headed to the Coliseum. We pass by a monument done in 1921. Our guide seemed to think it somewhat unimportant.

The aqueduct of Rome is just outside of where we parked the bus to get to the Colosseum.

The Arco Di Costantino

Afterward we headed back to the hotel for a much needed rest. We then set out for our farewell dinner in Rome.

Day in Rome
Night with my new Italian Leather Jacket

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