Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rome, Day 2

We took the trolley-bus to Vatican City this morning. We think the trolley-bus runs in the middle of the street and the regular buses run in the right lane. Other than that, there doesn’t seem to be a difference. No one seems to actually run their tickets through the validation machines on either one. Because we’d taken food from breakfast to snack on during the day and felt guilty, and because we were going to the Vatican and felt like we shouldn’t have “sinned” on the way there, we did validate our tickets.

The Vatican is very…Catholic. First we went to see St. Peter’s Baslica. My father told me that he’d been there during the war and if I mentioned his name, we would get bumped to the front of the line. Who knew?! He was right.

The basilica is beautiful and we also went down to see the crypts, including the one of the most recent pope, John Paul.

I have to say, Rick Steves is a genius. We have been using his walking tours since we got here and they are fantastic. Without them, we would really be at a loss and I think we all think we should be sending him a fruit basket. I think future vacations may only be to places where he has podcasts.

We waited in line for an hour to get into the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel is the personal chapel of the Pope. Let me just say, he MUST have an easier way to get in than we did. There were thousands of people (at least), and the official route wound up and down little stair cases and in and out of narrow doorways. It was as if they knew that we would never go through the galleries on our own and wanted to make sure that we saw more of their collection.

Almost every painting had some kind of representation of Jesus. Or Mary. Or an apostle or saint. Which all makes sense, but after a while, it all looks the same to an untrained eye. Until you get to the Sistine Chapel.

It’s incredible. Michaelangelo was a genius.

For those keeping track, we have absolutely kept up our commitment to eat pizza and gelato. And we have been walking miles and miles.


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