Vatican City
Sistine Chapel

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50 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    La Basilique Saint Pierre

    September 9, 2018 in Vatican City ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    La plus grande Basilique du monde. Époustouflante.
    Trop de chances, on n'a même pas eu la file !
    On a même vu une entrée de messe avec le Cardinal de Rome.
    Et cerise sur le gâteau on a vu le Pape pour l'Angelus du dimanche midi.

  • Day3

    Sistine Chapel Vatican City

    March 20, 2018 in Vatican City ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    a couple of cheeky snaps in the chapel.
    I knew from my last visit we should have gone out of the door on the right that takes you into St Peters but instead we took the route we were supposed to do, through the door on the left. It took the best part of an hour, we must have walked 2 miles and we got soaked into the bargain. The only plus point I that Dave will never know how far it would have been if we had gone through the door on the right.
    Happy days!
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  • Day1

    Sistine Chapel, Rome, Italy

    May 18, 2017 in Vatican City ⋅ ⛅ 77 °F

    Monday, May 29, 2017

    In the spring of 1509, just two years after a mapmaker coined the word “America” in honor of the explorer Amerigo Vespucci, a fellow Florentine named Buonarotti was beginning to work on one of the defining masterpieces of Western Civilization. His first name—Michelangelo—would also reverberate through the ages. And, like many of the early transatlantic voyages of discovery, his ceiling frescoes in Rome’s Sistine Chapel had gotten off to a terrible start.

    “He was working on the largest multi-figure compositions of the entire ceiling when the actual fresco plaster itself became infected by a kind of lime mold, which is like a great bloom of fungus,” says Andrew Graham-Dixon, chief art critic for London’s Sunday Telegraph. “So he had to chip the whole thing back to zero and start again. Eventually he sped up. He got better.”

    However difficult the conditions—and even the challenge of painting at a height of 65 feet required considerable ingenuity, with scaffolds and platforms slotted into specially fashioned wall openings—by the time Michelangelo unveiled the work in 1512, he had succeeded in creating a transcendent work of genius, one which continues to inspire millions of pilgrims and tourists in Vatican City each year. The Sistine Chapel holds a central place in Christendom as the private chapel of the pope and the site of the papal enclave, where the College of Cardinals gathers to elect new popes.

    Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-measure-of-genius-michelangelos-sistine-chapel-at-500-123313873/#K8LHvMvpQsjVL7lB.99
    Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
    Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
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  • Day16

    Rom

    June 24, 2017 in Vatican City ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Stadtbummel bei 33 Grad. Colosseum war unglaublich 😍.

  • Day220

    Citta del Vaticano

    July 6, 2016 in Vatican City ⋅ 🌙 75 °F

    While we've been in Rome, we've been staying just a few minutes' walk from Vatican City. This means we cross international borders almost everyday on our way to sight-seeing. The past two days we finally spent some time in this vastly foreign country (spoiler alert: it's not that different from Rome, and there are no border control or permanent barriers around much of the city). Yesterday we spent at least three hours in St. Peter's Basilica, an extremely ornate and beautiful place of worship and piece of art. We had downloaded an audio guide from Rick Steves on the internet ahead of time so, with headphones, it was like we had our own private tour. Rick's audio tour gave extensive background on St. Peter's Square and the Basilica, including pointing out historical, architectural, and artistic points of interest throughout. We only wish we had found his free guides earlier in our trip because he has many for all over Europe - we've already downloaded a few for the next couple countries. Anyway, some of the highlights were as follows: Bernini's stunning architecture based on Michaelangelo's original design, Pope John XXIII's very well-preserved remains (his was a popular area for pilgrims paying homage), Michaelangelo's Pieta - his first commissioned work for the church, the original crucifixion and burial sites of St. Peter, and the way the natural lighting comes through the windows and skylights to create a heavenly space. You don't have to be a practicing Catholic to appreciate the history and the artistic significance of this place.

    Today we spent six hours exploring the Vatican Museum. The extent of the collection and the history housed there is astonishing. If you ever go, we definitely recommend getting advance tickets for an earlier entry; the lines are long, there are several days worth of things to see, and there are fairly reasonable cafeteria options within the museum when you need a lunch or coffee break. We didn't get to at least two of the galleries we wanted to see, which is a shame, but we still saw so much! The other thing is that the crowds were out of control; most rooms with significant pieces were filled wall to wall with people and tour groups. We elected to share the usage of a rented audio guide (Rick Steves doesn't do one for the whole museum) instead of going with a guided tour, and we were both happy with the freedom that allowed. We both really like museums though, so no hate to the tour guides that just hit the highlights! However, for the positives (and it was mostly positive, trust us!).... We saw the Sistine Chapel!!! It was amazing! Rick Steves has a 30 minute tour of the room that was excellent. (I promise this is not a Rick Steves advertisement, just want to give credit to him and help other travelers find this free resource.) The creation of the Sistine Chapel is extremely interesting. Michaelangelo changed his plan halfway through, so the figures at one end of the ceiling are of a different size than at the other end. To create a fresco involves a painstaking process of quick action painting before the freshly spread plaster dries. Imagine this 40 meters up with your head craned up (he didn't lay flat on the scaffolding as is often portrayed but stood the whole time), working on small portions each day. For years. It's an amazing feat in itself. Not to mention how beautiful the artwork is - Michaelangelo was seriously skilled! You have likely seen pictures of one part of the fresco (where God reaches out to Adam to give him life); just think about how quickly he had to do that, how perfectly it had to be painted, and the pressure of having to start the entire section over if there were any mistakes. It is really amazing to think about and to see in person. There were also several rooms of original frescoes by Raphael which were equally beautiful and astounding. We've now seen a lot of pieces by three of the four ninja turtles (Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo....We're still looking for more of your work, Donatello!). We also can't let this post pass without mentioning Raphael's Transfiguration, Raphael's School of Athens, the statue Laocoon and his Sons, the contemporary wing which includes work by Dali and Matisse, and that nearly every room was decorated floor to ceiling (inclusive) with frescoes and mosaics. We could go on, really, it was that amazing.

    As the conscientious and justice-focused people we are, the one-sided portrayal of the church wore thin on at least one of us after two days of religious art and artifacts. There is a lot of goodness created by the church throughout history, but, as one would expect, the darker sides of the history were completely ignored from what we could see. This is not unusual for any entity to portray themselves in the best light, we just wanted to acknowledge this cognitive dissonance. It can be hard at times to hold the Christian ideal of service to others at the expense of one's own possessions, while also seeing the extravagant statues and homages to many of the popes, primarily funded by their own fortunes. Again, no one blog post can cover all the factors at play here, but we do want to recognize the multifaceted impact the church has had, and continues to have, for many persecuted groups. (Not to gloss over the fact that the early members of the church were persecuted for their faith in the past, as well.)
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  • Day4

    Vatican City

    June 8, 2017 in Vatican City ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.

    Construction started: April 18, 1506
    Dome diameter (outer): 42.0 m
    Dome diameter (inner): 41.5 m
    Architects: Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, RaphaelRead more

  • Day247

    Vatican

    December 6, 2017 in Vatican City ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    So for some reason neither of us put on an alarm. First time that's happened lol
    Luckily we got up just in time.
    Or really a little too late to bother figuring out the train and/or metro. We decided to just get a taxi because there was no obvious direct route there.
    Very pleased with our driver - he used the meter and took a direct route. It even came in €3 under the lowest estimated price.
    12€ all up.
    The most expensive part was waiting to get out of the damn taxi bay because it's at the station and person after person kept walking in front.

    He dropped up pretty close - we had to just walk the straight line towards it.
    So many annoying people trying to get you to book a tour I ALREADY HAVE A TICKET DAMN IT.

    The annoying people did serve a purpose though - they directed us to the entrance which was a 10 minute walk from St. Peter's square which I didn't realize.
    Once we found the entrance I had a memory flashback.

    We paid an extra 4€ each to skip the line which turns out to have been a complete waste.
    Not a single person in front of us. We walked straight in 😪
    In summer the line was ridiculous so I guess better safe than sorry.
    We went through security checks, collected our hard copy ticket and entered country number 27✌🏼

    Signage was crap - no idea where to go - we ended up in an Egyptian artifacts room. We skimmed a lot of it but there was a exposed mummy body so that was cool. I also liked the statues because they different from European ones.

    I found it interesting that they talked of other gods. I know it's a museum but it still is the Vatican.
    Cool thought.

    Essentially the museum was just a shit tonne of statues.
    There was a corridor though which I want to have a sleepover in.
    I just want to put a mattress on the floor and look at the ceiling for hours. It was beautiful 😭😭😭 the corridor also had maps lining the walls.
    Once again a roof was my favourite part.
    We walked and walked and walked through rooms until we finally got to the Sistine chapel.
    I'll be straight to it. Not even slightly as nice as the corridor. Still cool to see. Took another illegal photo like I did last time.
    Will was surprised by it. He thought the finger touchy bit was the whole thing and that it was going to be really big and in a dome.
    Nope.
    It's just not as detailed as some. Still obviously fantastic but it was like half the lines were smudged.
    The room was very crowded.

    We walked through more corridors holding stuff from jewelry, old globes to what I think was a sewing machine.

    We were hungry so we left and went and got food. To enter straight through to St. Paul's basilica you had to be part of a tour and as we weren't that meant we had to join the line outside boo.

    But first, food.
    Wills was delicious except for the fragment of glass he spat out....
    lol

    Joined the line and it took maybe 30 mins to reach security.

    Honestly, you would think 99%+ people visiting would have been through and airport before. And yet every second person had to go through the gate 3+ times.
    TAKE YOUR COINS OUT OF YOUR POCKETS YOU IDIOTS.

    They also only had 3 boxes to hold peoples bags as they went through the scanner so that caused some time delays too.

    Into the chapel we went.
    It's the biggest in the world.

    The colour scheme is actually quite boring. But walking around you start to absorb all the hidden details.
    Very nice.
    The roof is super high.

    The apostle peter is buried there. I remember I encountered the same problem last time I visited - I couldn't see down into the staircase/crypt from behind the barrier.
    Of course Will could 😒

    A few popes buried around the place.
    We just went in the free areas. Skipped the paid spots.
    We poor hahah

    There was a nun praying and it made me happy.

    Very nice 👏🏼👏🏼

    Walked to the pantheon.
    I remembered in school we all got yelled at inside by a worker because we were too loud.
    It's free too - but boring.. not pretty to look at. A big dome with a checkered roof. It was a pagan spot then got destroyed and rebuilt and converted.
    It's 2000 years old though so that aspect is an A+.

    A few men dressed in gladiator outfits outside made it fun.

    We then walked to the Trevi fountain to see it again.
    I bloody love it.

    Big walk home and I think I might have some blisters coming.
    The perils of new shoes eh?

    Chilled at the hostel then went across the road for dinner.
    AMAZING bruschetta but they tipped themselves... 😒😒

    Gave away a lot of money today 😩 this morning a lady approached us and said her bag was stolen and could we help her - she was British, we though she was gonna ask for directions when we stopped to help.
    As I am unable to say no I gave her 2€. I hope what she said was true.

    At the hostel now.
    Keen for tomorrow!!
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  • Day15

    Vatican on speed

    June 19, 2017 in Vatican City ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    So we had 2.5 hours until checkout. Taxi there was 10 minutes. But the line to get in was 2h long. We waited for 20m but finally succumbed to the hucksters offering "skip the line" passes.. but then the entry line for those was 40 minutes long. Oh, and a very large bird pooped on us both. I mean LARGE. And well fed. And maybe sick based on the rainbow palette. Yuck.

    So, we wound up getting in with 30m to go. Because our objective was the Sistine chapel, we basically ran through the museum tour, which was surprisingly difficult since the route loops back on itself and there are several ways to get there.

    We finally got to the chapel with -5 minutes to spare. Good thing the hotel didn't mind too much due to the problems we had with our rooms.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Sistine Chapel, Sixtinische Kapelle, Chapelle Sixtine, Cappella Sistina, システィーナ礼拝堂, Capella Sixtina, 西斯廷小堂

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