Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Highest point of the smallest country
Today we spent the majority of the day at the Vatican. First we went into the Vatican Museums and saw the Sistine Chapel. Although there is far too much to see in one day, we looped through most of the museum rooms to see an abundance of icons, paintings, sculptures, and all sorts of impressive art and artifacts. While in the courtyard for a snack we were highly entertained by a couple of Japanese boys who just hopped over the chain-fence-ring-thing in order to spin the alien-sphere-with-in-a-sphere-thingy. The Italian security guards disapproved in a "Hey don't do that, but, you know, stop whenever you want, no rush." Even better, was the Japanese girl who sat down behind me on the bench really fast while her boyfriend snapped a picture of her with my hair. Red hair is apparently a bigger deal for Asians than it is for the Irish.
In addition to the wonderful tourists to watch, we loved all the art and especially the Basilica of St Peter's. As soon as I caught sight of the inside of the Basilica my pulse started pounding like crazy with excitement. I was just as impressed by St Peter's as I was the first time I saw it -- if not more so.
I spent a good deal of the day recalling as much as I possibly could from our amazing tours with Dr Connell and Liz, during my semester in Rome. A couple of my favorite facts are that there is actually not a single painting in the St Peter's Basilica, they're all mosaics. (In large part, because mosaics are easier upkeep and the Basilica is built to last until the end of the world.) Most of the mosaics are so incredibly detailed that it's really hard to tell they're not just painted on canvas. Once you are in the Cupola on the way up to the top of the Dome you are right-up-close-next-to some of the mosaics, which one would swear from farther away are carved and 3D.
After a full day exploring the Vatican and a short fight with numerous ticket machines at Termini, we took the bus and tram to La Fate's for dinner. Our food was yummy, but the best part for me was definitively catching the Erasmus students coming to dinner so I got to see Dr Connell and Miss. Bonifield again. That was really really wonderful, being back in Rome does make me miss my Thomas Morons a lot. Back at the flat we enjoyed more yummy food along with wine, laughter, and to top off the amazing day: tiramisu.