Friday, 16 November 2012

Vatican City

The Vatican City, one of the most sacred places in Christendom, attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. A unique collection of artistic and architectural masterpieces lie within the boundaries of this small state. At its centre is St Peter's Basilica, with its double colonnade and a circular piazza in front and bordered by palaces and gardens. The basilica, erected over the tomb of St Peter the Apostle, is the largest religious building in the world, the fruit of the combined genius of Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini and Maderna -
This wasn't the first time I'd been to the Vatican - about twelve years ago I'd also visited as part of my high school's Europe trip. It was the middle of summer, and the whole area was heaving with tourists. I vaguely remember standing in the queue to go inside the Vatican Museums for a good half hour.
Yes, this is how stupid a person looks when they take a photo with an iPad in public. Let that be a lesson...
On this trip, being November, it was blissfully cool, and by some miracle there was actually no line at all when we arrived to buy our tickets. No such luck actually inside though, the crowds were as thick as ever, and we joined the queues shuffling past the paintings and sculptures.

Most people end their visit to the museums through the Sistine Chapel, and it was hilarious to watch the tourists play the game of 'sneak photo' with the guards. Photography (even the non-flash kind) is strictly prohibited in the famous chapel, and most people respect this. However, there are always some who are probably quite indignant that they had to wait all that time to finally get to arguably the most famous part of the tour, just to be robbed of the opportunity to post a fuzzy shot to Facebook or Twitter. From the nonchalant to the surreptitious, those brave enough to sneak a shot would invariably be spotted by a guard and silently berated.

After the museum we headed into St Peter's Basilica. Again, I'd been before so it wasn't quite as awe-inspiring as the first time I'd seen it, but still very impressive.
We ended the visit to the Vatican with a walk across Ponte Sant'Angelo, just in time to snap some lovely shots during the 'golden hour' of photography.
[Flickr set of Rome here]

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