Thursday, Vatican City.
Our B&B is located on the Vatican side of the Tiber River. Early Thursday morning, we walked to what we thought was the Castle San Angelo. Turns out it was the Palazzo di Giustizia, which is a great looking building, but not the castle we were looking for. In fact it's the city jail. A few inquieries later, we headed to Plazza St. Pietro or St Peters Square. Which we did find. It has the tallest building in Rome and kinda hard to miss. I guess I could describe St. Peters Square, but if you have ever followed the Pope, then you already know it. Big Square, large Eqyptian Obelisk in the center. Once inside, you just sort of walk in a wonderment that is the Catholic religion.
From there we went to the Musei Vaticani. A long walk up a hill, being hounded by people wanting you to pay for their tour of the museum. We resisted! The Sistine Chapel is there. Michelangelo did a few paintings there. I will just say it was absolutely the most breathtaking place I have ever been. And that was before I got to the chapel. The Sistine is the Popes private chapel. It's where the College of Cardinals vote on who the next pope will be. Black smoke, no decision. White smoke, he's elected!
The only thing coming close to the number of rooms of antiquities are the number of book shops wanting to sell you pope stuff.
Friday, Roman Ruins Day.
We went backwards according to the recommendation of most guide books. We started at the Panetheon. The best preserved interior that was Rome. Not piliaged for it's marble, it is a wonderful monument to what was Rome. Then we headed to the Foro Romano. The town center of ancient Rome. Julius Ceasear lived there and was buried there. Mark Anthony said, "I come to bury Ceasear, not praise him", there. According to Shakespere! Temples, baths and arches dot the landscape, along with rubble that you have to imagine was in place during the 1000 years of the Roman Empire. Lastly, I took Chris to the Colosseum. The face that is ancient Rome. The echos of this great place cry out.
To finish off our tour of the ancient city, we went to a small church called San Pietro in Vincoli. (St. Peters-in-Chains). Built to house the chains that held St. Peter, it also holds another statue done by Michelangelo, Moses. Looking nothing like Charleton Heston, it is non-the-less spectacular to see. I lit a candle for my mom there. It is my last day here in Italy. It is because of her I am here today.