Saturday, October 27, 2012

Roma, Italia Day XII November 17, 2011

This is Vatican City Day!
Our first stop is the gift shop and Post Office.  Molly read that a resident of Rome actually comes to the Vatican to do her mailing because it is so much more reliable than the Italian postal service. Molly's package to Carly took six weeks to arrive!  Anyway, we bought and mailed a postcards to friends and family with the Vatican postal stamp! (It still took three or four weeks to arrive)

Next we went through the Vatican Museum. This museum was started in the 1500s by Pope Julius II. It was the first time a private collection was available to the public. Successive popes added to the museum as they explored the world and brought back aritifacts.


Next we went into the Sistine Chapel. No one is allowed to take photos here because a Japanese company bought the rights to all photos in exchange for the restoration! But here is a photo from behind the altar The Last Judgement!

The Sistine Chapel is one of Michelangelo's grandest accomplishments !
Carly told us that when it is crowded you are only allowed a certain amount of time in the chapel. We were not ushered out but allowed to stay as long as we wanted.
It is so hard to believe that we were standing in the room where popes are chosen! Amazing!
Next we followed Rick Steves' advice and joined a Korean tour out the side door. I guess this a way to beat the crowds going into St. Peter's Basilica.
The Basilica is two football fields long!

In the center there are emblems that mark the sizes of churches around the world. Michelangelo's Pieta was to your immediate right as you come in the doors.
Behind the altar is the beautiful alabaster Dove of the Holy Spirit which is right above the Chair of St.

Touching the foot of St. Peter

Bernini's baldicchino made of bronze

The pope's point of view

View of Pope's apartment

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