Do As The Romans Do Nov 5

I couldn’t talk about Rome without talking about the Vatican. I visited the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and of course, St. Peter’s Basilica.

This was my second full day in Rome, and I went on a tour that would take me through the Vatican Museum and end at St. Peter’s Basilica. The tour was done by the same guy that took me around Rome the previous day. This time though, the tour focused on Christianity and after the fall of Rome.

We started at the Angels Bridge. The bridge had angels telling the story of Jesus’ Passion. This was a starting point many Christian pilgrimages.

The angels on this bridge depicted The Passion. Each angel held something from the story, like nails, a cross, a veil, etc.

Here’s a few more shots of the angels.

After the bridge, we walked over to St. Peter’s Basilica. I was told that St. Peter was not his original name. He had some other boring name, but Jesus told him that he would become the rock of Christianity. In Latin rock is translated to petra, hence his name. I learned something new! Too bad my body doesn’t feel like a rock. Italy transformed me into a big tub of jello. Gelato and pizza were my downfall.

Here’s St. Peter’s Basilica far away.

So, inbetween the picture above and St. Peter’s was an amazing sandwich shop. I was blown away by how this little sandwich tasted.

I could taste all the ingredients individually, but when it melted together it was legen … wait for it … dary!

Anyways, the tour guide went around St. Peter’s Basilica to the Vatican Museum. This allowed the tour to end with the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica and reduced some tourist congestion.

After the entering the museum, we walked passed this thing.

Look familiar to anyone? Maybe some of you have visited the De Young in San Francisco? This was the original, but there’s a copy of this ball in the De Young in San Francisco. The one in the De Young was much smaller and does not spin, if I remember correctly. The real one spun! And it was shiny. What more could a kid ask for? I liked it because it looked familiar. Andy shiny. But mostly familiar. And shiny.

There was also this baby in the same court yard as the golden ball.

A giant bronze pine cone. Interesting …

Now, for the awesome rooms in the museum. Take a look at these two sculptures.

The Apollo Belvedere

Laocoon and His Sons

These two sculptures were also called the face and the body. Michelangelo found these two pieces beautiful enough that he used these two sculptures in the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The Apollo’s face was used for Adam’s face, and the body of the Laocoon was used for God’s body.

There’s not much more for me to say on the museum, so I’ll just resort to showing pictures.

These mosaics were ancient, and I wish I could remember the dates that they’re believed to be from. See the amazing colors used to produce them? Again, these things were old, so having color was a great luxury.

On top of the mosaics stood this beast. It’s one piece of red marble. Can you guess what it is? Okay, too late. It’s a bathtub for a roman emperor. The marble was dragged from Egypt. Bling, bling.

This tapestry had an illusion. The image of Jesus followed you as you walked passed it. It was designed to do that.

Ridiculous ceiling.

After the museum, we walked through the Sistine Chapel. Freaking amazing. Michelangel painted this piece in four years, roughly totalling two and a half years of work. This was considered insane for something so massive. Now for some pictures!

Okay, just kidding, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in the chapel. There were officers waiting to force people delete photos from their cameras. A few of my tour mates did snap some shots though. If you didn’t stop taking photos, the guards would kick you out of the museum, so I was told.

The ceiling was amazing in this chapel. Unbelieveable! Also, my neck hurt afterwards. The ceiling was really high, and my neck hurt after looking up for so long. I’ll need another visit to see this again.

After the chapel, we left and headed into St. Peter’s Basilica. This was one gigantic church. It’s the largest one on Earth. Big was an understatement. The artwork in the building was intense. Christianity’s motto should be “Go big or go home.” Everyting was intense. The first sculpture I looked at was the best one.

Michelangelo’s Pietá.

It’s so beautiful. He did this work when he was 24 years old. 24! This piece got him the job to paint the ceiling. Freaking awesome.

Back to the motto of Christianity. This was the largest bronze artwork in the world. It reaches 100 feet tall. There was so much bronze for this piece, that when they ran out of bronze halfway through, the tore down the bronze doors from the Pantheon to finish the remainder. This reminds me of Texas – everything’s big in Texas.

Here’s the second largest bronze piece in the world, which is behind the piece above!

Something looks weird about this pope’s name.

Fourteen in roman numerals is XIV, not XIIII! This was a rejected tombstone that was reused. Hilarious. Google the name to find out more.

Here’s some more tomb decorations.

This was ridiculous. The robe was all marble.

God that way.

Outside St. Peter’s Basilica.

Thanks for reading! Naples, pizza, and Pompeii next!