Blogs from Vatican City, Europe

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Europe » Vatican City December 7th 2018

It was a beautiful day in Rome today. We all slept very well last night. Pedro slept late! Really late! We woke up at 0950. Breakfast was served from 0700 to 1000 at the hotel, so we rushed down. It was a very good start to the day. A full spread of eggs, meats, fresh fruit, pastries and fresh juices. We were glad we did not miss it! We took the "M" to the Vatican. We got there just before 12 and the Basilica was closed today from 1200 to 1400 as they were preparing for the presentation of the Nativity. We walked down to the Castel 'Angelo and did the full tour. We had a snack of pizza for lunch and then it was back to Basilica San Pietro. We wanted to do the climb ... read more
Sriracha high fives a preist at Cupola San Pietro
Pedro at Castel Sant 'Angelo
Kasie, Pedro and Sriracha at Castel Sant 'Angelo

Europe » Vatican City September 24th 2018

Since Vatican City is supposedly a sovereign country although I find it hard to believe, I thought I'd write a separate entry just for it. It is said to be the smallest country in the world. I've heard a few other countries call themselves that. But it's really hard to wrap my mind around the idea that a place as small as the Vatican city which for me isn't even big enough to be a city is actually a country. Yes I know they issue passports so you can be a Vatican citizen. But so does Hong Kong and Taiwan. They are much bigger than the Vatican yet they are part of China. Peace out to my brothers and sisters and Hong Kong and Taiwan! There are less than 1,000 Vatican citizens. Most universities have bigger ... read more
The Creation of Adam
The Discobulus of Myron (Discus Thrower)
Scam ring

Europe » Vatican City June 2nd 2018

It's Italian National Day, celebrating the anniversary of the referendum to abolish the monarchy on 2 June 1946. It started with some midnight fireworks, although we were laying in bed by that point having been up at 4.30am to catch our flight. We turned on the TV after breakfast and there was the Colosseum, covered in a huge Italian flag, and a parade moving slowly along where we had been walking the previous day. At its climax there was a fly-pass leaving a trail of green, white and red smoke. A few seconds later we heard the roar of the engines as the planes flew over, not far from our hotel, still leaving their trail of smoke. Today, we had booked to go on a tour of the Vatican Museum (which included the Sistine Chapel). The ... read more
St Peter's Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
The Swiss Guard

Europe » Vatican City February 6th 2018

There is ample reason for me to justify my choice of visiting the Vatican given the rich historyof art and architecture that the country presented. In almost every way, it was an extraordinary place to spend my holidays; however, one thing I learnt was that there are certain norms that need to be followed while touring Vatican. Thankfully I had done my research and I did not miss out on any experience, by planning on how not to spend too much time waiting in line. Waiting in Line It may seem odd to start an article about one of the most historical places in the city with a segment dedicated to queues outside the tourist spots. But, in my experience successfully battling these queues was the key to covering all the important locations. Visiting the Vatican ... read more

Europe » Vatican City June 12th 2017

Another day for the books! This morning I got up at sunrise (5:45 am) because it was a hot day and we wanted to beat the crowds at the Vatican. Once we arrived to St. Peter's Basilica, we paid 8€ for the elevator and stairs. The elevator took us up about 200 stairs, and the rest of the 350 stairs needed to be climbed to reach the top of St. Peter's Dome. Also, as you look up on the inside of the dome, the artwork is all mosaics!! These steps were narrow, small, and up an endless spiral staircase. However, since we got there at the opening, it was cooler and not crowded! Since I get claustrophobic in tight spaces, the walls felt like they were closing in on me. Once we got to the top ... read more
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Europe » Vatican City June 11th 2017

What a memorable day! This morning I went to the Papal Blessing in Vatican City! Sadly, the Pope was not going to come outside today, but he gave the blessing through an apartment window. One of the professors tried to translate as much as she could for us to understand what he was saying! This was a once in a lifetime experience to be blessed by Pope Francis at the Vatican! Not many people can say that they've had the same experience. The rest of today has been a "chill" day. I grabbed lunch with a few friends after the blessing and ate prosciutto and melon, which was amazing! I have some homework to do and a quiz to study for, so I took this day for myself!... read more
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Europe » Vatican City June 7th 2017

Another early day, but it paid off today! We left JFRC at 7:30 am and headed for the bus stop towards Vatican City. My professor dedicated a day to visit the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel. Once we got to the Vatican, we did not have to wait in line because our tickets were preordered (last year, the class had to wait 2 hours in the ticket line!). We basically had the museum to ourselves for the first hour and a half. It was so nice because I could actually hear my professor talk about pieces of artwork. We were able to see a lot of Bernini's sculpture models and paintings. Also, we saw Leonardo da Vinci's St. Jerome in the Wilderness, a piece that was never finished by da Vinci, and it is one of ... read more
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Europe » Vatican City August 8th 2016

While I think this city should be part of Italy, the Vatican City is the smallest city in the world and is surrounded by Italy. We actually walked there from our hotel. The Vatican is the city of the pope, but it has restaurants and taxis. We went to the Vatican Museum. The first thing we saw in the Vatican museum was an outside part. It had a giant pine cone which I honestly don't know why it is there. Then we went to a room of a bunch of statues and busts. Some of the statues I knew, such as Artemis, Hermes, and Athena. Next we went to a room with a bunch of Egyptian items like mummies, art, tombs and other artifacts. Then we walked through a long hallways which had tapestries. Then we ... read more
Vatican Museum
Vatican City
Vatican Museum

Europe » Vatican City July 18th 2016

Woolly says – I had planned an early start, practised my questions and even borrowed Zoe’s brush (don’t tell her) to spruce myself up for this most auspicious day, what were the others doing.....sleeping! Which is what normal people do at six in the morning! Having kept my eyes closed for as long as possible given the fact that he was batting my nose with his trunk I sent him for breakfast so we could have some peace and quiet while we got ready. Woolly says – hours and hours passed and having managed two croissants I was considering heading off on my own when they finally appeared.... I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate Woolly, we were half an hour if that! Woolly says – ......my clock moves much faster than theirs! Two ... read more
St Peter's
Beautiful floor
More ceilings

Europe » Vatican City December 30th 2015

hi everyone Early one cold Wednesday morning in Rome, we found ourselves sitting outside of St Peter's waiting for the papal audience. It's absolutely freezing and we feel like snow men. Not much sun yet! Fortunately I thought to wipe the rain off the "elegant" plastic chairs. An hour and a half until the show starts. We're quite near a bunch school kids accompanied by a priest so hopefully we'll get a bit of commentary. We arrived in Rome 3 days ago but it seems like 3 years ago. Amazing place. You literally trip over Roman ruins everywhere! We had a bit of an unpleasant experience on the first day in Rome. We were strolling around looking at the shops when a crowd of chanting women approached Peter with pieces of cardboard the size of a ... read more
Flower market
ACU side entrance
Fountain St Peter's square




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