For our last two days in Rome, I wanted to go to the Vatican and just walk along the ancient Roman road called Appia Antica. We didn’t get a car, instead just taxi’d from the airport so we also needed a taxi to the Vatican this morning. Our apartment is gated, so we walked out to the road to wait for him. I called a taxi company and got a taxi in Italian! Basically. They knew as much English as I know Italian- but we got it done 🙂
The coat of arms of Pius XI. Each pope has a particular coat of arms. In ancient times, if you were elected pope you could make up a coat of arms if you didn’t already have one. All of the Medici popes over the years used the 5 or 6 balls with the lion theme.
A bronze sculpture of Hercules
A sarcophagus for Constantine the Great’s daughter. He was the first Roman Emporer to claim conversion to Christianity. He built a new giant emporer’s estate and changed the name of Byzantium to Constantinople after himself and was made a saint by the Orthodox Church after his death for his early Christianhood. There was a matching sarcophagus across the room for his mother.
There are so many amazing paintings and ceilings and frescos in the 53 galleries or “salas” that lead to the Sistine Chapel- I’m not sure why it’s the only “can’t miss” item… We walked through ceilings painted by so many great artists, including Raphael.
Next we entered the contemporary art museum. I wasn’t that interested in this area…because apparently sometime in the last 70 years we decided Norah’s drawings are high art.
But that led us into the Sistine Chapel. While I will under no circumstances downplay the amount of artwork, skill, etc needed to do this… This was one of those things that was a little disappointing in person. I’m not sure what i expected, but I’m not sure how this became the end all/be all of the Renaissance . I wasn’t deeply affected by the paintings or feel like I was in a sacred place. They were definitely vivid and there were tons of different scenes from the bible… And I’m glad we had the chance to see it…but truth be told it was hot and there were security guards every 6 inches and just too many people, that if someone hadn’t told me I was supposed to think this was amazing, I probably would have liked other paintings and ceilings more. Oh and Photos were not allowed so I had to sneak one 🙂
Now this did catch my eye. On a side wall as you exit the chapel. There is a plaster wall that has silk drapery painted on it so perfectly that you would swear it’s real until you get just the right angle.
Me being the weirdo I am… I was more impressed by the amazing cabinetry that held the exhibit items than I was about the items thenselves. This amazing woodwork and adornment is matched on probably 30 cabinets all along the walls of the hallways. With over half of them closed and locked. That’s just rude.
I love this globe. The photo is of North America. It consists of: Cuba, Hispania, and Floridia. And look how stumpy Florida is. Ha the entrance to the Vatican Museums
Vatican City Walls After exiting the Vatican Museums we headed towards St Peter’s Square to go to the basilica.
And it continued on around the other side of the square. (sorry, Rob May, I won’t even wait in that line) So, no basilica. Oh well, there’s Google Images and Wikipedia 🙂
Norah loved the big Christmas tree in the middle of the square that they were putting up We headed away from St Peter’s to Castel St.Angelo. Originally this round structure was built by the Emporer Hadrian to be his mausoleum and his ashes were held here for around 300 years, a hundred years in when they built the city walls they turned the round memorial into a castle but when the Visigoths sacked Rome in the 400s they destroyed all the ashes and remains inside. Legend has it that the angel Michael appeared over the castle in 590 during a plague. Thus, giving it its current name.
After that, we caught a cab back to the apartment, took a quick nap with Norah and then woke up when it was late enough to go eat dinner. Italian restaurants don’t even open for business until 8pm…it’s so weird. We walked in right at 8 through a quiet road on a side street to a restaurant called Ristorante di Andrea in IV Miglio. It was a cute little place.
We ended up having the absolute best meal of our lives.
Turns out Andrea is the chef behind this amazingness and he has a 3 year old as well. He showed Norah pictures of his daughter Angelica and just sat and talked with her for a little bit. Kegan has quite the man-crush on Andrea. Haha we tried to invite him home with us, even tried to let them live for free 🙂 he wasn’t buying it haha.
Kegan said this meal was almost enough to go back to Rome for. Haha
We walked home and passed out with bellies full of amazing food 🙂