Blogs from Vatican City, Europe

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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

Europe » Vatican City September 12th 2015

Another early start today for the Vatican. Up at 6:00 to make sure we met the tour group at 7:55 for the skip the line tour. A sound check with the “whisper” machines and in we go for the walk through the museum. All of the masters are here, Rafael, Michaelangelo, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Leonardo & Donatello. We were just awestruck with looking at these great works of art and this is just a small part of the treasures that the Vatican has. Every room has a selection of paintings, statues, frescoes and tapestries and then we are told that some of these rooms were the living quarters of some of the popes. After a while it all turns into a blur and becomes overwhelming. We walked through the Sistine Chapel (no pictures???) which was just amazing. ... read more
Augustus of Prima Porta
Museum courtyard
Modern art in courtyard

Europe » Vatican City July 27th 2015

Some 13 years ago, I did a boys day trip with Leslie to the Vatican. It was a beautiful and cold day in January, and Leslie was just 18 months old. So for the logistic, we kept ourselves to the Basilica as well as St Peter's Square. This time it's a little different, I'm on my own, and I truly want to see what is it about the Sistine Chapel! You are going to ask me! Is this a game about blogging about every single country on earth? Well, why not, so let's start this little South European escapade with the Vatican! After all, I've got a huge amount of pictures of Rome already! I should have booked my visit online to the Vatican Museum and the Chapel Sistine. But I wanted some flexibility not knowing ... read more
Vatican Museum
Swiss Guard
No pictures into the Sistine Chapel

Europe » Vatican City July 18th 2015

We have booked a morning tour of the Vatican. We need to be there a bit before 8am, so it's another early start after a long day yesterday. We are both feeling a bit tired. It is again really hot. Issy says she is feeling the heat more here than she did in Marrakech. We arrive outside the Vatican Museum. Already there are long lines to get in. We've booked a group tour so we jump the queue. Before we left home everyone warned us about the queues and the advantages of booking on-line. I'm glad we listened. The operators here seem to have mass tourism down to a very fine art. Our names are ticked off as we arrive, and we are told to stand in a very specific place. Our guide then hands out ... read more
St Peter's Square
Tiber River near Castel Sant'Angelo
Tiber River near Castel Sant'Angelo

Europe » Vatican City July 15th 2015

Took a tour of the Vatican. You are not allowed to take pictures of the Sistine Chapel but you could take pics of the surrounding galleries. I also went to St. Peter's Basilica, saw the Pieta and some beautiful sculptures inside. To finish the day I had gelato. Look carefully at the blue flavor.... read more
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