Everywhere is decorated with beautiful things. Mosaics cover the floors, the walls are painted with extraordinary works of art and more often than not, so are the ceilings. Sculptures stand in every corner. The Vatican Museums house the biggest collection of art that any of us have every seen and we are delighted to join a guided tour.
There is an overwhelming amount of statues, mostly Roman. There is a labyrinth of rooms just full to the brim with them, and it’s hard to believe what we’re seeing. I always thought that an intact ancient statue was extremely rare, but now I know where all the long-lost ones are kept!
We walk through an extremely long hall next. The floor is mosaic and the ceiling is beautifully designed and divided into hundreds of individual works of art. We are in the hall of maps and there are over forty giant frescos on the walls, each one depicting a different part of Italy. The room radiate wealth and power and in my opinion is one of the most stunning rooms in the Vatican, and that’s saying a lot.
Another impressive room is the hall of tapestries, each one ginormous. They depict the story of Christ and we follow his life walking the length of the hall. One in particular is very striking, and our tour guide stops to explain that it is ‘The massacre of the innocents’ . This scene is rarely portrayed in the story of Christ because of its brutality. The tapestry is very detailed and took years to make. All of the tapestries once lined the walls of the Sistene Chapel, but were removed during Covid.
We continue on through a maze of rooms covered in paintings by Raphael. We get to see the famous ‘School of Athens’ and learn a bit about it. It features the face of Leonardo da Vinci painted as Plato, pointing his finger at the sky. Michelangelo’s and Raphael’s faces are also to be found in the painting.
Now it’s time for the highlight of our tour (You may be able to guess it) . . . . The Sistene Chapel! We are herded into the crowded chapel by security guards. Everyone is standing and staring up at the marvel on the ceiling. It seems almost surreal that I am actually seeing ‘The creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo. I take a few photos forgetting the no photo rule — don’t tell anyone. We also see ‘The Last Judgment’, which takes up one entire wall!
And so ends our trip around the Vatican Museums. The tour guide said that if we spent a minute at every piece of art here, we would be here for twelve years. We’re not that dedicated and amazing as it is we’re already quite hungry.Read more