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Vatican Museum

We enjoyed lunch on our own and some shopping before meeting our local guide, Antonio, for the beginning of our guided tour.

We began with the Vatican Museum - well, parts of it. The place is HUGE. Everywhere you turned, there was another beautifulstatue, painting, etc. From floor to ceiling the place was impressive.

We began in the Courtyard (one of them), then stopped at the staue of Apollo, which Michaelangelo used the face of as inspiration for Christ's face in his "Last Judgement". Antonio told us about how they made the staues and differences between Greek and Roman sculpture.

We walked down a hallway of tapestries. Raphael painted what he wanted these to look like (on cardboard) and sent them to the factory for production. Using the finest silks and materials, the replicated his visions and produced stunning floor to ceiling tapestries. The ceilings in this hall were painted with lots of shadowing - giving the illusion of sculpture on the ceiling - but were simply paintings. They reminded some of us of cameos - but on a much larger scale.

Off to the Sistine Chapel - No words we write can accurately describe this room. Speechless....

We then left the Museum and entered St. Peter's Basilica. The largest Catholic church in the world was truly enormous! Again, nearly every inch was covered by some work of art. The altar and marble canopy alone were a marvel to see (and we got the surprise of seeing what must have been an "altar boy" standing on the altar to check the feet-high candlesticks).

The group walked and walked, we saw some of the most impressive works of art in history, we enjoyed learning from Antonio as well as Allyson and we were nothing if not impressed. BUT, we battled crowds throughout the tour. Keeping up with Antonio was sometimes tough as our iterest was drawn to so many works through the tour. We did not even cover half the ground available and still saw so much. Even after all that walking about 6 of the group stayed behind with Allyson hoping to climb the 500+ steps to the dome in the Basilica and check out even more!

We'll enjoy dinner in our hotel and an early wake-up tomorrow as we head to Florence. everyone sends their love to family and friends back home (you were in our thoughts and prayers today as we shared time with the Pope and in the most famous church in the entire world.

Comments

france pope said…
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