Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Buen giorno!!

Our first morning in Rome we had breakfast at the hotel. We met a very nice older couple at breakfast that gave us a secret to getting into the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel. Go later in the day when the lines are not as long!!
Yummy donuts!

And then headed off to the included St Peter’s Basillica tour. The church was HUGE and amazing!! I think I enjoyed St Paul’s Cathedral a little more because it seemed more open had more light. St Peter’s was very beautiful and the largest of all the catholic churches in the world. On the floor they have stars showing the size of other famous churches around the world including St Paul’s. It’s interesting to see the size compared to other places we’ve already been.

Our next stop was to the Colosseum. This was Nick’s favorite place! We found out that all the marble, stone, and bronze that is in St Peter’s Basillica came from the Colosseum and other Roman ruins. The structures from ancient Rome are not falling down due to time or nature but by man. The Romans built their structures to last forever and the Catholic church came around hundreds of years later and pillaged the pagan temples for their own churches and temples.

We then headed back over to the Vatican Museum to find the Sistine Chapel. Our breakfast buddies were right! The museum stops accepting visitors at 4pm; so we got there at 3pm and walked right in!!! No lines at all!!
However, they don’t make the Sistine Chapel easy to find. You basically have to go through the entire museum to find it. It was not like the Louvre where we could get the Sistine Chapel (Mona Lisa) done and move on. Nope. Miles of hallways and thousands of paintings, carvings, and sculptures later we finally found it!

(Very blurry Creation of Adam)

Pardon the VERY blurry pictures; you’re not allowed to take photos in this room so all of these pictures are pirated. The guards were yelling (in a reverent whisper, of course) at everyone about not taking pictures or video. It was a little chaotic. It was also very beautiful! Amazing! I can now see why it would take Michelangelo 11 years to paint it.

I over heard a guide talking to some people and he said that Michelangelo originally painted everyone naked. The pope at the time didn’t like that everyone was naked and wanted him to cover all the genitals. Michelangelo refused to do it and told the pope to find someone else! The Pope called Michelangelo’s best friend and apprentice, Botticelli, to paint the fig leaves and robes to cover their private parts! Although I can’t find this lovely story on Wikipedia anywhere I still like the story!

In all the crowd and hustle & bustle of finding and being herded out of the Sistine Chapel we missed the painting of The Last Supper. ;( I guess that will just give me a reason to come back again!

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