The Vatican city and “Roaming” around Rome

In Italian Media, Uncategorized on May 13, 2012 at 12:25 am

It’s difficult to comprehend everything that we saw today! After catching up on some rest, we woke up bright and early today to take on the city.

We started and ended the day the same way: Roman public transportation. We took advantage of both the bus systems and the tram today, traveling straight to the Vatican City, the smallest recognized city state in the world boasting only about 800 citizens. That collection of citizens is primarily composed of the religious including the priests, nuns and also the Swiss Guard.

I have trouble finding the adjectives to describe seeing the Vatican City. It was without question the most beautiful place that I have ever seen in my life. Being there makes you feel so close to history with the over 4,000 years of art and as our tour guide Rosealba told us “the largest collection of art in the world.”

She also informed us that:

“If you were to spend one minute on every piece of art within the Vatican Museums, it would take you 12 consecutive years to see it all.”

It was truly an amazing experience. We spent some time sitting in the Sistine Chapel and listening to its history and creation. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with the location and the artwork. The longer you gaze at any of the paintings on the ceiling the more alive they become.

Our guide was a really interesting and friendly Italian woman. She spoke of her childhood times at St. Peter’s Basilica.  Imagine what it would be like to be surrounded with such art from such a young age. It is so hard to believe that the people of Rome come in contact with so much history and beauty every day, from the time they look out their windows in the morning to even just walking to the supermarket or to work.

All of the artwork that we saw at the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel had such a profound effect. Looking at it, it is so hard to imagine someone having that same dedication today. I just think of the lack of tools that the ancient Romans had at their disposal, yet their construction and statues still endure today. Michelangelo almost went blind from painting the Sistine Chapel and he didn’t even receive payment for his work!

After leaving one area of historical and aesthetic significance we paused for lunch before moving onto another. We ate outside at a Cafe’ near the Vatican and I consumed my first Gelato since arriving. It was hazelnut, and I might have been ‘nuts’ for it.

We then explored around a very crowded Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon. All of which seemed so distinctly Italian and reminiscent of a prominently unique Rome.

Before dancing up the Spanish Steps, I spotted the Keats Shelly House at the bottom. Kalea and I raced in to check out some quick poetry memorabilia and pick up some awesome gifts. Percy Shelly is one of my favorite poets and it was so exciting to spot such a place across the street from a Dior and a Versace.

The day wrapped up with us trying to feel at home in Italy, despite an obvious language barrier, and enjoying dinner in Retro-like cafe and exploring Rome into the night.

One thing that I’ve discovered I love about Italy, well Rome since that is all I can speak for yet, is that it is so very Italian. Despite a globalized world and a convergence of commercialization, Rome seems so uniquely its own. All of the store fronts still have Italian names and letters, and its inhabitants proudly speaking their language and live their own culture.



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