"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rome - The Vatican Day

Despite all the buildup I still was not prepared for the Vatican. We began in the Vatican Museum.

Yes, more steps and like many they slant downwards making it harder to walk on.

The museum holds many art items from old churches as well as beloved classic pieces too valuable to leave on display in public places. In entries and hallways photos were allowed but not in museums or the Sistine Chapel.

The most amazing to me was Michelangelo's famous Pieta and of course the Sistine Chapel.

In St Peters pictures were allowed but I only got a couple on the phone - more coming...

The tomb and body of Pope John XXIII - according to the Vatican his body is not embalmed and has not decomposed. Did get better pictures on my other camera although not great.

The basilica is just incredible - the largest church and it just goes on and on with one incredible sight after another. You seriously have to see it in person to really comprehend it.

We had guides in each city on the band tour (besides our two regular tour directors, Flavio on our bus and Laura on the other) and found that very helpful - our guide was Fabio in Rome and as with every guide we were amazed at his knowledge.
Below is St Peters being set up for Easter Mass.

The tallest building holds the Papal apartments on the top floor. I remember so well (watching on TV) when Pope John Paul II was ill and trying to give his Easter blessing from those windows.

Ok ready for more food? Michael, my nephew took the train from Florence and met us after our Vatican tour. We Bill and I, my brother Kevin, his wife Judy and nephew Michael - for those not in the family) then split from the band group for the afternoon and evening and the administrators from Burnsville HS were even kind enough to let Judy out of her duties for the evening so she could join us. Started our with a bottle of wine and excellent bruschetta. We were like kids skipping school, it felt good to not have to hurry or do anything until the spirit hit us.

We then did a lot of walking, seeing some of the same sights again to show Mike but also got some great views of the Tiber River, some excavations of Roman buildings and then stopped for dinner. But that will be another post. Last we saw and climbed the Spanish Steps -and here is the view. It feels like we climb the equivalent of 20 flights of stairs a day - at least.

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