There are so many things I love about Rome but I have one problem with it, the timing. I was at the Vatican City in January 2005 and entered the Vatican Museum just after 10:00 am only to be told that closing time is 1.30pm. The Vatican Museum has many exhibitions plus the infamous Sistine Chapel with its magnificent fresco of the Last Judgement by Michelangelo. So how does one enjoy what's on offer with 3 hours to spare?
If you are the type to browse and appreciate the beautiful exhibitions, arrive as early as possible otherwise you will be disappointed when you are told to leave at closing time
Fondest memory: Vatican City is a sight to behold. Apart from the exhibitions, spiral staircase at Vatican Museum is a must try
I am a firm believer that it's all in the detail.
This photo is of a piece of the pavement in St Peter's Square (not sure why they call it a square though as it is round! haha).
I think this adds to the authenticity and historical significance of this place.
As I have said before, it is almost too much to take in, and for us 'happy-snappy' types an absolute paradise )
This would be one of most loved places and I entered the chapel feeling that the work was most likely over-rated until I got there. The ceiling is just amazing and when I found out a few facts about how it was done, even more amazing.
In 1508 Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the chapel and it took him until 1512 to complete. He had to paint the roof as he plastered it with damp plaster so had to work quickly before it dried!! Unfortunately the plaster grew mold as the plaster was too wet so he had to start again!! Over the centuries the ceiling got a bit grubby due to candle smoke, soot, and applications of poor quality varnish. The cleaning of the ceiling took place in the early 1980's and revealed the stunning colours you see today.
Photography is banned so my shot below is very low quality (flash off and taken from the hip). It is still a great reminder of the chapel (though I did buy a guide book with all of the paintings in it....).
I love the seemingly unlimited amount of art to be seen in Rome, especially that found at the Vatican museum and within St Peters. One of my favourite pieces is the Pietà by Michelangelo. It's a marble sculpture in St. Peter's. The statue was commissioned by the French cardinal Jean de Billheres, who was a representative in Rome. The statue was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. The statue depicts the body of Jesus in the arms of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The detail is great though Mary looks in rather too good nick for a mother with a 30 something son. Apparently Michelangelo told his biographer and fellow sculptor Ascanio Condivi that her youth symbolizes her incorruptible purity.
The statue has been the scene of a bit of controversy with its restoration in 1736 believed to have had too many liberties taken by the restorer, especially with the Pieta's left hand. In 1972, on Pentecost Sunday, Pieta was attacked by a man (stated as being mentally deranged) who shouted "I am Jesus Christ" as he hit the statue with a hammer. The Pieta was again restored and now sits behind an unbreakable glass panel near the Holy door.
When you go to visit Vatican City be sure to go there early. We went at around 9:30 and didn't have to wait that long to get in. We went up the cathedral and when we came down there was a huge waiting line, it was around 11:00 then. We didn't go to the Vatican museum as there were people waiting there for hours and hours.
So go early then you can avoid hours waiting in line.
Favorite thing: On my first trip to Rome, I chose not to climb my way up to the top of St. Peters Basilica, due to in no small part, the 1000 degree temperature of the city in the summer. However, thankfully, on my second go around in the Eternal City I did. What was at the end of the round and round walk up to the top? A magnificent view over Rome. Standing so far above all the madness of the city and its gangs of noisy Vespas, you can really soak in all of the city's majesty.
After visiting Rome a few times I eventually bit the bullet and went inside the Colloseum, a tourguide also. Wicked.
Fondest memory: The Latin Fiesta outside of Rome, huge fairgrounds with S.American, Spanish and carribean food, dance, knick knacks en zo. Can be really popular but not well known by tourists apparently.
I've always heard about the Vatican, I'm a catholic, so when I was in Rome I wanted to visit it.
The St Peter square is very nice and huge with all those columns lined up in a perfect simetry.
The inside of the Cathedral is so rich that I think it is almost too much.
I climbed hundreds of steps to get to the top of the tower overlooking the city, from there I was able to spot most of the main attractions and it helped me finding my way.
I would love to be able to visit Rome once again.
Fondest memory: Although many people think that the building isn't in the right place, one of the best moments I had was when I visited the Monument of Emmanuel the Second. It's just out of this world.
Another place I liked a lot was the Pathernon.
Favorite thing: As you follow the crowds snaking their way around the Vatican Museum to the Sistine Chapel you will pass through the gorgeous garden courtyard. Not so many flowers but lots of sculptures, busts even a sphinx and the buildings look lovely in the sun. It took us about three hours to work our way through the museum but could take a lot longer depending on how long you linger over the art.
Favorite thing: When you come out of the Pinacoteca follow the signs for the Sistine Chaplel. On your way there you will pass through the Raphael Rooms, the Borgia Apartments and miles of corridors of amazing art. No photos are allowed inside the Sistine Chapel itself.
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