And here is the long overdue final installment of my European trip!
Definitely one of the highlights (probably THE highlight) was a tour of Vatican City. We got to walk miles (and miles) through the museums, and end with the unbelievable St. Peter’s Basilica. We did a 4 hour tour with the company Walks Inside Rome and it was really top notch. Our guide was adorable, hilarious, and INCREDIBLY well educated.
Before I proceed with the pictures that I do have, I will quickly make note of the Sistine Chapel. Our tour included time in the Chapel before it was opened to the public. It was truly unbelievable. To see the most famous ceiling in the world, and have it be even more beautiful than you can imagine, was such an amazing experience. No photos were allowed, but you know what it looks like 😉 We particularly appreciated our quiet time in the Chapel when we had to double back through a couple hours later – it was so jam-packed that our group had to split up and each person had to slowly find their own path from one side to the other.
Entrance to the grounds
Walking through the Hall of Maps…
…and Hall of Tapestries…
Moon rocks given to the Vatican, followed by a diamond-studded monstrance and collection of papal rings.
The art collection was unbelievable…seeing so many of the works of Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and more, IN PERSON, was like…just wow. I was also astounded by all the things that came from all over the world – the Vatican Museums hold far more than Italian and religious pieces! I would not call myself an art person – I’d choose a natural history museum over an art museum almost any day of the week. But I was seriously in awe – if there is one museum of art in the world that you need to see (though I’ve been to the Prado and hear the Louvre is quite renowned), this one is probably it.
Although some of it seemed a bit…silly?
The Hall of the Maps was one of my favorites. Seriously beautiful and unbelievably accurate!
First glimpse of St. Peter’s Basilica
Just a few days before it would close for decades, at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year, we got to enter the Basilica through the Holy Door
The Pieta (Michelangelo)
A pilgrimage procession
What an incredible finale, to be inside the most famous church in the world. I won’t overload you with all of the photos I took, because none of them do it any justice. It was truly awe inspiring.
Thanks Vatican City, Mom, and Europe in general for an incredible experience. Until next time!