I think it’s kind of funny that we went from one extreme to another on a single day: from the most reverent place in Rome to a Rock ‘n Roll restaurant!
Our time at the Vatican was fantastic and I highly recommend anyone visit it. The research we did prior to our visit made it all the more interesting, as we were seeing many of the things we had viewed in books or documentaries.
Here’s a tip: purchase your tickets online a few weeks in advance to avoid waiting in the line you see wrapping around the exterior wall of the Vatican. We walked past this line, across the street, into a very short line, with only a five-minute wait.
Once inside we had a very specific list of exhibits we wanted to see. The first was the statue of Laocoön and his sons. Probably created between 42-20 BC, it was created by three sculptures and Michelangelo was very impressed with it. We enjoyed his connections to this sculpture and therefore made sure we stopped to see it. If you go to the link I attached to the title you can read a neat story about the bent right arm and how brilliant Michelangelo was. Carson has always been fascinated by Egyptian mummies and we got to see a few real ones.
Parker needed a nap:
There are four Raphael’s rooms in the Vatican and we made absolutely sure to see these. I wish we had had a tour guide at this point to explain what we were seeing, but I realize the boys wouldn’t have lasted through a full-length tour. So we stopped in, took some pictures, and moved along. We had been given a tip to stop at the little cafe that is placed between the museum and the Sistine Chapel. (Thanks, Elizabeth!) I had packed a few snacks but we also purchased a few treats to enjoy. While we sat, I prepared all of our iPods to begin the Rick Steves’ Audio Guide of the Sistine Chapel. Parker’s iPod had “buggle buppies” on it. Once we entered the chapel we found a place to sit and listened to the entire episode, amazed that we were looking at the most famous painting in the entire world. We (the boys and I) took no pictures of it because they weren’t allowed.The Sistine Chapel was as amazing as I had dreamed and I still can’t believe I’ve seen it. Please put it on your itinerary if you ever head to Rome.
St. Peter’s baldacchino by Bernini was breathtaking. It is so incredibly huge but doesn’t look like it in the room it’s in.
Just before we exited St. Peter’s Basilica we stopped to view Michelangelo’s Pieta. This is said to be the only work Michelangelo signed and it was because he overheard someone giving another artist credit for his work. This made him angry so he snuck in one night and chiseled his name across Mary’s sash.
After a nap at the apartment we made a point to go back to the Pantheon so we could see it in the daylight, but also so we could go inside. Raphael is buried here so we were able to see his tomb while inside. And then we caught a bus to Hard Rock. I snapped this picture of the Colosseum as we passed it, and then ten minutes later realized we had gone too far on the bus, and had already gone too far by the time we passed the Colosseum! Adventures…
What I think we’re doing today:
We’re still at the beach and I am sure we’re spending some time at the indoor pool! For dinner we’re going to the Medieval Times… the boys are going to FLIP! Sybil has decorated the condo with a tree and a ton of presents and the boys are chomping at the bits. Friday night is when they get to open them.
First thing Matt did (after coffee) was to go for a six-mile run. I couldn’t let him beat me so when he returned I left for my own run.
Today is a special day, though, and I want to be sure to mention it! Today is Aimee’s birthday and I really do hope it’s a great one! She has family in town to help her celebrate but I wish I could be there to give her a hug and a cup of coffee. (Regular, bitte.) I’m very thankful we got to celebrate before I left Germany. I’ll write about that fun evening another time… it was a treasure and I’m thankful we were able to have it, considering the snow messed with our plans a little bit.
Aimee, I hope your birthday is one of your best ever!