Friday, June 22, 2012

Rome Day 2: St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel

By Rain Babauta

June 21, 2012

The 2nd day of our stay in Rome we went to the pastry place again. We had a very good time there just as before, as Eva and dad had cappucinos. Then after breakfast  we headed out to see the Vatican. First up was St. Peter's Basillica, the largest cathedral in the world. There were lots of people in the courtyard in front of the basillica near a big obelisk and some fountains.

As we headed to the basillica we saw the slightly long lines. We figured that the lines would probably get longer so we got in line quickly. We had to walk through a metal detector and put our electronics on a convayor belt like in airports. There was no entry fee so we were able to get to the cathedral quickly. We walked up the steps and entered the basillica.

Inside were lots of people crowding around the sculptures and artwork. There were also lots of tour guides leading people around telling them about it. Everywhere you looked you can see marble, whether it was a very beautiful sculpture of a saint or a naked baby or a finely carved column.  There were also tombs under the floors and metal bars that made sure you could see into it but not fall in. The ceiling very high up and was also covered in lots of artwork. There were many domes but in the biggest one there were stairs that led up to it and you could walk around the inside perimeter. There were also masses in session on the sides but you might have to pay for those.

Next we set out to the museum of the Vatican. The entrance was far away on the far side of the Vatican walls. We took a little rest stop near a gift shop that for some odd reason also sold granitas. We had strawberry and lemon flavors. When we finally arrived at the entrance there were no lines. Instead of going in we went off for lunch, figuring that the lines would still not be there when we got back.

We found a restaurant that was relatively close by only to descover they were out of pizzas! Despite their shortage we had a variety of pastas. There was risoto, pene, and a tomato sauce spaghetti that I don't remember the name of.  That restaurant was also where my dad and eva shared their anniversary lunch.

As we returned to the museum we faced noticed that the lines had gotten longer. We didn't let that bother us. We went in, paid for the tickets and passed through more metal detectors. Inside were lots of different sections that held different types of art. There were hundreds of unique paintings by a variety of famous painters. In another section there were Egyptian tombs, statues, and even one mummy. As we left the ancient Egyptian section, we saw a long hallway with lots of sculptures. Past that was yet an other long hallway but this time there were lots of paintings on the walls and even on the ceiling. The second hallway lead up to the Sistine Chapel. We were not allowed to take photos but the walls and ceiling were covered on lots of very beautiful pictures of different stories or scenes from the Bible.

After our long adventure in the Vatican we set off for our appartment to take a quick rest. When we woke up we went outside to eat dinner. We had these Roman-style rectangular pizzas that conveniantly folded into a napkin that we could each hold our own slices. We ate in Piazza Navono and gazed at the amazing Roman nightlife. There were people selling handbags and little toys with little lights on them that shot up in the sky and slowly decended down with two flaps like helocopters have. One person was so nice that he sold three of them to us for the price of two. We played with them for a good half hour or so. After we finished, we were exhausted and went to bed.

More photos of our Europe trip here.

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