Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Città del Vaticano

Bella Italia: Terza Parte. Vatican City.
Opulent. Venerational. Spectacular. It is hard to put what I saw into words, but these are just a few that come to mind.
The history and reverence within the walls is truly humbling. I was raised in the Catholic church, and even though I am now a non-denominational Christian, being surrounded by the deep, rich, Catholic history was warm, familiar and comforting. The deep respect that Catholics have for their religion and their beliefs permeates the ancient structures.
From the minute you walk into St. Peter's Sqaure, (seen above) you can't help but feel the immense colonnade symbolically welcome you in with open arms. The square, designed by Bernini, is vast and the scale alone of everything that you are about to encounter is hard to wrap your mind around.

The top floor of this beautiful building are the pope's private quarters.

The Bernini Bee was moulded, stamped, painted...you name it, on most of the art, sculpture and buildings in Vatican city.

Papal Swiss Guards in uniform. Disciplined and loyal, they are the only Swiss Guard that still exist today.
When we entered St. Peter's Basilica there was phenomenal sunlight beaming through the transoms in the dome. If you stood just right it would give you an angelic glow.
Frank and Perry's rendition of the Creation of Adam.....
and then we were all struck by lightening, ha.

Michelangelo's famous Pieta. You can't get close to this anymore because some crazy person came into St. Peter's and started hacking at this amazing sculpture with some sort of a hammer. It now sits about ten feet behind bullet proof glass.

Frank and I inside St. Peter's
Marble carvings.

Ornate floor grate with the crypt below that houses St. Peter's tomb.

The angel of death. The marble, so intricately carved to represent fabric folds, covers the angels head, while a gold hourglass is gripped by it's boney hand. Creepy but still beautiful.

The most amazing trompe l'oel I've ever seen!

Pure opulence.


Marble busts along a corridor.

Then we came to the Sistine Chapel. I had the biggest lump in my throat when I was waiting to enter. The minute I set foot inside, my head was spinning and tears were running down my cheeks before I could even attempt to control my emotions. My eyes were darting back and forth, trying to take in the paintings that I have gazed at my whole life in art books. I felt like I couldn't breathe.
The chapel is much smaller that you would expect. It is also full of people and very quiet, because you aren't allowed to speak. This adds so much to the experience. You are standing in a room packed full of people, no one is speaking and everyone, I mean everyone, is in awe. This is just one of those things that I'm not going to try to explain any further than that. I wouldn't do it justice. You just have to see it for yourself.
You are also not allowed to take pictures. I followed that rule well. Seriously, like I'm not going to take a picture...it's the Sistine Chapel for crying out loud.
Frank and I...breakin' the law, breakin' the law...

On our way out we mailed ourselves postcards. When I received it in the mail it was pristine. Not a speck of dirt and no messy postmarks...frankly, it looks like I never mailed it, just put a stamp on it and hung on to it. However, it was special and fun to receive mail from the Vatican.
Our day at the Vatican imprinted the most memorable images into my brain that I will take with me for the rest of my life. It is truly something to see.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I love your photos :) Thanks for sharing!