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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Roman adventure - part 6

After a dramatic thunder, lightning and rain storm in the night Laura's fourth day in Rome dawned bright and almost clear of clouds.  After breakfast she took a bus to the Vatican.  The queue for St Peter's Basilica was already starting to stretch across the square, however it only took 30 minutes from the time of joining the queue to getting into the church, which was a lot quicker than it would have been the previous afternoon.

St Peter's Square, Vatican City
Laura in St Peter's Square, Vatican City
Laura was glad it wasn't too crowded in the square.  She had dressed smartly for this visit, and was wearing a Vintage Sasha coat over her Union Flag sailor dress
Inside a side chapel in St Peter's Basilica was the very famous Pieta by Michelangelo
Michelangelo's Pieta was quite magnificent but was sadly behind bullet proof glass after a previous attack on the statue
One of the side domes in St Peter's with very detailed frescos, mosaics and gold leaf
Laura was overwhelmed by the number of side chapels, altars, paintings and sculptures in St Peter's
 One side chapel was reserved for quiet prayer, with no photos allowed (it was behind a large heavy curtain).  Laura did go in there, it was called Cappella del SS.Mo Sacramento Vaticano and you can find photos of it on the internet.
In the nave Laura gazed in amazement at the canopy and altar over the tomb of St Peter
The canopy over the tomb of St Peter was very high and richly decorated
Laura took a photo of the detailed decorations on the canopy
This dove and rays of light were over the high altar in the distance behind the canopy 
The underside of the immense dome of St Peter's was decorated in great detail with gold leaf, mosiacs and carvings, it looked amazing with the light shining through the clerestory windows
Laura saw the altar in the chapel which was only used for weddings, she took this photo through the closed gate.
The organ and choir stalls in the wedding chapel - there was a lot of gold
St Peter's Basilica is the largest church in the world, Laura felt very small as she stood in the nave on the marble floor, some of which once decorated the buildings of the Palatine hill and the Roman Forum.
After visiting St Peter's in the Vatican Laura bought a ticket for the Vatican Museums so she could visit the Sistine Chapel.  On the way to the famous chapel she saw lots of interesting Roman and Christian art in the long corridor.  Her favourites were the Roman mosiac and a large tapestry.
A Roman mosiac with still life, found in the Villa of Numisia Procula on the Via Ardeatina (Tor Marancia).  Laura loved the fine detail of the still life, all done with tiny stones contrasting with the bold border of black and white stones. 
Laura felt very small compared to the huge tapestry showing the ascension of Christ
Laura was really disappointed as she was not allowed to take photos in the Sistine Chapel of the famous ceiling paintings including God giving life to Adam, or the High altar wall showing the Last Judgement, both painted by Michelangelo.  The chapel was crowded, the guides not very friendly and whenever the quiet talking of the crowd raised above a certain level the guides shouted 'silencio' from a loud speaker which instead of preserving the preferred contemplative atmosphere of a chapel destroyed it.  The paintings by Michelangelo, Giotto and others were amazing but the experience was disappointing and Laura was not sad to leave the Sistine chapel.
On her way back through the Vatican museum Laura saw this golden model of a church
 After lunch in the Vatican cafe, Laura found her way out to the one part of the Vatican garden which was open to the public.  It was beside the Vatican Art gallery building which was only built in 1932 to house the incredible art collection of famous and not so famous works which belong to the Vatican collection.
The Vatican Art gallery
Laura was pleased to be out in the fresh air in the garden

She had her photo taken with the dome of St Peter's in the background
Laura took a photo of the dome of St Peter's from the Vatican garden
Laura in front of the Vatican Art Gallery
Even the outside of the Vatican Art gallery was richly decorated
Inside the Vatican Art Gallery Laura was able to get up close to a plaster cast of the Pieta
In the Vatican shop Laura bought a couple of gifts for friends. After leaving the Vatican, she walked all the way to the Spanish Steps.  The real Spanish Steps were unfortunately under scaffolding and not accessible to the public, however in a restaurant around the corner Laura discovered a mural of the Spanish Steps.
Laura admired the Spanish Steps in Rome
The mural of the Spanish Steps was covered in flowers, so Laura took her coat off as it felt like summer
There was even a model of the boat shaped fountain in front of the mural of the Spanish Steps
Laura enjoyed her pizza in the restaurant then put her coat back on and walked all the way back to the hotel for another well earned rest.  It had been a fascinating day at the Vatican.

(see also Part 1 of Laura's adventures in Rome and Part 2 when Laura visited the Palatine HillPart 3 when Laura explored the Roman Forum, Part 4 when Laura discovered the Colosseum and Part 5 when she explored the narrow streets of Rome)

1 comment:

Ginger said...

A lovely day trip to the Vatican. I am glad the weather was so nice for Laura and family. I really enjoyed the photos of the art work, the ornate architecture, and observing the places of prayer. Thank you for sharing these lovely images with us. :) xxx