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22 November 2015

The Vatican. Oh. My. Beautiful. Amazing.

Vatican City is actually encircled with walls.
Sadly, it was a rainy day, but from the Vatican museum, we could see the dome of St.Peters Basilica the best.
Byzantine mosaics

Marble sculptures of Roman chariots

Amazing frescoe ceilings in the Vatican museum with gold leaf and vibrant colours.

Bacchanalia - Emperor Nero was a big fan.
The death of Roman Ceasar in tapestry


These pictures are after I have progressed past the museum and I have already visited the Sistene Chapel. It is not permitted to take photos inside the Sistene chapel. Our guide informed us that Nikon paid for the restoration of the works of Michealangelo on the ceiling of the Sistene chapel and in return have photo copyright for 15 years.
 I thought it was special to see nuns operating souvenir shops inside the grounds of Vatican City.
This is the holy door of St. Peter's basilica that the Pope will open when the jubilee begins on December 8, to welcome pilgrims. This is one of four holy doors that will be opened in the four basilicas in Rome (we saw another earlier today - I'll blog about that later - sorry to go out of order, but the Vatican kind of trumps all, you know?) according to our guide, this door is bricked over from the inside between jubilees, and they just took out the concrete from the inside in the past few weeks.
So this is the square where the Pope speaks and I see all those people gathered to see and hear. Pretty awesome.
St. Peter's Basilica. You. Must. See.

The inside of the holy door - bricked up wall gone in preparation of the pope opening the door...
The Virgin Mary and Christ - sculpture by Michealangelo.
Chapel for Pope John Paul II - he was moved here after sainthood was granted. His chapel was full of people praying.

There are markets down the center of the basilica that represent the size of the other large basilicas in the world - this is the marker for St. Paul's in London.
It looks like a painting, but it's actually a mosaic. 

When the Pope holds Mass in St. Peter's square , the music - organ and choir - comes from this chapel.
The outside of St. Peter's - as we exited and I looked up, the bell began to toll...
I wanted to photograph the Swiss guards but it didn't seem appropriate - but know that they looked splendid. 

21 November 2015

Rome - a culinary tour

This morning we did a culinary walk and despite being caught in the rain, we snacked our way around and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
We took the metro to a food market - such great lookin stalls!
These olives smelled amazing!
Those prickly looking things are bitter zucchini!

After we left the market, we stopped off for coffee (cappuccino) and then did a little bit of cultural sightseeing... More in another post!