Rome Travelogue - Day Seven - Touring The Vatican

8:03 PM
Tuesday, May 3rd was Day 7 for us and our day to tour the Vatican.

We had Franco, our Tour Guide, again and enjoyed waiting in no lines and having a private voice in our ears making the art in the Vatican Museum come alive. We would have appreciated the art on our own but never made connections and learned back stories were it not for Franco.
Here is my husband with the original Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio. The light glowing from the painting was extraordinary.
There was soooo much to see. What a collection!

Here is just one of the many examples of purple, Egyptian marble called porphyry. My youngest son became fascinated by this. Franco told us that with a machine drill on it all day long you'd only saw into this a 1/2 an inch and yet we saw carvings and pillars of it. I won't forget how much he loved coming upon it, identifying it.Finally, he asked us to write it down so he could look it up some more. THIS is how learning comes alive!

Below is one of my favorite spots and I hope to find a coffee table picture book of it some day. The ceiling of this massive corridor is incredible itself, but I also found myself drawn to the 2 story sized maps of countries painted down both sides of this very long hall. The maps were so detailed and so old. Click on this picture to make it bigger.
And then there was the Pieta, Michelangelo's masterpiece made when he was only 23! Franco told us that it is not an accident that Mary is made so large as here she represents motherhood. He also brought with him his folder of images and pulled from it a disturbing one and the reason why the Pieta is now in a bullet proof case. I had never heard of the 1972 attack on her.
From the museum we went to the Sistine Chapel, where pictures are prohibited.The ceiling was awe inspiring and we probably stayed there 45 minutes as Franco led our eyes. I couldn't stop imagining the conclave there...the history of the Pope's elected there...proceeding to the Room of Tears..

And then to St. Peter's where Blessed JPII had been brought up for his Beatification. Here below is his side chapel. (Later in the security line for the flight home we would meet EWTN and YouTube Catholic rapping priest, Fr. Stan Fortuna. It was easy to spot him in his grey cassock, long hair and exuberance. He was bouncing and rapping into a recorder. He told us that he had been to this chapel and while praying there he was "hit" with this song he was recording. Hit hard he said with a smile and looking up he said he asked JPII to "hit'em again!" Curious to hear it when it comes out.)

Visitors pass by the statue of St. Peter and rub it...so much so that his toes are worn away.As we passed by polish women kissed his feet.

Here we step on the grate that leads down to the tombs.
Now under, we pass by St. Peter's actual tomb.
On the way out we can't help but stop to take a picture near the Swiss Guards.
And look up to the Papal apartment, I have highlighted it here. Leaving St. Peter's it is to the left. I would have remembered it if Franco had not told me as I watched the light go out the night when our dear JPII died.
After a cold drink at a cafe, Franco drove us up to a high point above Rome, near a Grimaldi statue, I think. Look at this view! UPDATE: A kind reader helps out, "The view from the hill....it is from Gianicolo, where a GARIBALDI statue is."
Here are 2 video views. The first of St. Peters, from bottom to top. The second is of Rome, from above, and panning side to side.

video video

This day we crammed a lot of information into our brains via Franco. It was sad to say goodbye to this friend. If you're ever in Rome, don't hesitate to book Franco (Francisco) Julius. You'll be glad you did.

Tomorrow, the Papal Audience and some AMAZING photos....stay tuned!

3 comments:

cecilia said...

The view from the hill....it is from Gianicolo, where a GARIBALDI statue is. Just for sake of records, in case someon else want to go there in the future.
Cecilia

+JMJ+ said...

I'm grateful,Cecilia. Many times I wished I'd had a third hand to take notes!

Christine said...

YOUR TRIP was AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing. Your souls must have been lifted high by all the beauty especially by the art.

What an incredible journey.

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