Friday, July 11, 2014

The Vatican City in Rome

Recently, we flew to Rome. It was a 12 hour flight to get there, and we were kept busy playing cards, doing homework, watching movies and reading books. Finally, the city appeared. We stayed near the Vatican City in a small two bedroom apartment, with a tiny counter, which was supposed to be a kitchen, which separated the children's bedroom, from my parent's bedroom. We were in Rome for 3 days. On the first full day we went to the Vatican.The Vatican City is actually its own country. It is the smallest country in the world and is ruled by the pope. 

Inside the Vatican Museum
When we arrived at the Vatican, we saw a very long line of people waiting to go inside the museum. Luckily, we bought passes ahead of our trip, and we were able to bypass the long line and go inside.The Vatican Museum has many rooms filled with the works of many artists such as  Leonardo da Vinci, Rapael, and Michelangelo. Some of Michelangelo's greatest paintings fill the ceilings and walls of the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel is a chapel filled with Michelangelo's paintings. He painted huge and beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings that told biblical stories of Moses and Christ. Can you imagine having to paint upside down high above the ground! One of his most famous paintings that we saw was God giving life to Adam. When we finished touring the Sistine Chapel, we got some delicious gelato.

Dark clouds loom above St Peter's square
Adjacent to the museum is a beautiful piazza, or square, called St Peter's Square. The square is right in front of Saint Peters Basilica, and the Vatican Palace. In the middle of the piazza is a tall granite obelisk that was brought from Egypt in the year 37, and placed in the piazza in the 1500s. The first time we tried to see St Peter's Basilica, there were thousands of people crowded around the square all waiting for the pope to come out and greet the people.  The next day, there was a  a snaking line around the whole piazza filled with people waiting to see the basilica. It wasn't until the third day that we got lucky. The weather was miserable with heavy rain, thunder and lightning, but perfect for visiting the basilica.  Right when we stepped foot into the church, we were awestruck. The basilica's chapels were so tall and huge that we felt like tiny ants compared to them. This church is about 700 feet long and 450 feet wide and world's largest Christian church. Saint Peters Basilica was built to look like a cross. It is said that it contains the burial site of the first pope, Saint Peter.

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

 Rome is filled with many beautiful churches. During the three days we were in Rome, it rained quite a bit and the churches provided a nice place to hide from the rain. In fact, there are more than 900 churches in Rome. Many contain gorgeous sculptures and paintings on the walls and ceilings. There are often people praying and lighting candles. We even saw some choirs practicing in the church. The acoustics was really great.  
waiting for the rain to clear

We were really surprised at the summer weather we experience in Rome. Every time we saw the lightning, we started to count until we heard the thunder. and at one time, the lightening was less than a mile away. While taking a picture with my sister in the rain, we felt lightning right above our heads, and nearly got struck by lightning! We knew that it was time to get to somewhere safe and warm until the rain stopped.

 Finally it was only drizzling, and we set out exploring. We walked through narrow roads where cars could barely fit through. The cars in Rome are especially small and look almost like toy cars. The water in Rome was cold, refreshing and delicious. Many piazzas had interesting fountains with fresh water. Here is one coming out of a lion's statue.

After dinner, we went to the Tiber River, a beautiful river with many large bridges crossing it. On the bridges,  were huge statues, and beautiful views of the city lights. We enjoyed strolling along the river, relaxing and watching people paint and sell their wares. It was a fantastic way to end our long and exhausting day.

To learn more about our trip to Rome, please visit my sister, Miriam's post.

Have you ever been to Rome?
Have you ever seen any Michelangelo's paintings? 


1 comment:

  1. No, I have never been to Rome. I have seen his paintings and sculpture. I like the one called Crucifix. It is by Michelangelo and it shows Christ on the cross. This sculpture is made out of wood.


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