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The Vatican & Sistine Chapel by Ann Treacy
June 21, 2011, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Rome

On Friday we went to the Vatican. We started at 8 am. We went to the main church (St Peter’s Basilica), which I have to say is pure opulence. There was a line – but it went pretty quickly. The statues are amazing. Much like the Coliseum, everything is so big, you lose a little perspective. I started talking about the small statues – and then realized that they’re beyond life size – they four or five times life size. Lily thought the back windows were great. I tried to get a good picture – but I was competing with a lot of light.

The entrance to the Sistine Chapel is separate from the Basilica. In fact, you have to walk all around the Basilica to get there. There was a line – but it only took about 30 minutes to get through so that wasn’t too bad.

Everything was so ornate – the first room may have been the most over the top. The ceilings had been painted, although it wasn’t *that* ceiling. Aine loved the first room. Lots of reds, golds and other bold colors. (I took a picture of the ceiling – just mentioning again so that people don’t think it’s “that” ceiling.) We saw a lot of naked statues – big, little, headless, sitting standing and resting.

It’s huge maze of rooms – and naturally we got separated. Patrick and Lily went ahead – the rest of us took the wrong turn at the fork in the hall, thinking that was the route Patrick would take. That meant that Patrick, who would like to see every detail took the shortcut and the rest of us who are more OK with an overview saw everything. And actually everything was pretty cool. It started with Raphael. My favorite was the pictures of a broken Caesar-type statue lying at the feet of a golden cross. Kind of sums up the situation from the Christian perspective. Then there was a ton of modern art, including Francis Bacon. I like the modern stuff so that was good – but Aine and Kate were sort of crashing so we went through quickly.

Finally we came upon “that” ceiling. The room was packed. Apparently Lily and Patrick spent a lot of time there so Lily can do a great imitation of the guards clapping and shouting “no photo!” but don’t worry that didn’t stop me. Although it stopped me from getting a good shot.

We were so dog tired walking home after the Vatican – but we found that Coca Cola Light (for me), Espresso (for Michael) and gelato for the girls can work magic!

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