Fontana di Trevi that’s undergoing major repairs 😦 :
The Vatican and a bridge on the way:
At the recommendation of the hotel receptionist, I bought online, timed-entry tickets for the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. We went through the security line once inside Vatican City and went where we were funneled which was into St. Peter’s Basilica. I asked someone working there where the museum is and he told me to ask someone at the information booth just outside the doors. We waited in that line and then were told to go back down the steps and turn left. When we did that we ended up at a coat check where a man told us to go out further and then turn left and then walk a kilometer. So we did all that and found the entrance. Once inside there were a series of stairs and booths until we finally found where we could exchange our electronic tickets for printed tickets. Then there was a very long, winding ramp to get up to a place where we found signs directing us to the Sistine Chapel. Then we must have walked at least a mile with a thousand other people up and down stairs and through hallway after hallway until we finally came to the Sistine Chapel. So, as you might have guessed, it was quite underwhelming after all that. It’s small and packed with people. A priest spoke into a microphone after we had been there a few minutes, telling us to hush in this house of prayer. Then he actually started reciting a prayer. I can’t imagine anyone feeling spiritual in that space in those conditions. I couldn’t believe the ceiling. I had thought that the God creating Adam painting by Michelangelo was the only painting on the ceiling. Instead it’s one rectangle among dozens and doesn’t stand out in any way. If Laurel hadn’t pointed it out, I don’t know if I would have found it. I took a picture although I wasn’t supposed to. I don’t know what the museum is that we had tickets for. There were a few display cases with little doodads as we left. Maybe that was it. Then we ate a ridiculously overpriced but tasty lunch across the street before going back to St. Peter’s Basilica. The basilica’s huge, engraved dedication across the front says, in Latin, “In honor of Paul…” Laurel and I couldn’t figure out why St. Peter’s Basilica is dedicated to Paul. Then we realized Pope Paul somebody directed its construction. Inside there are saint and pope statues and sculpture everywhere. Laurel said that Catholicism, at least in its former state, is like a polytheistic religion with all the saints treated as minor gods. You would definitely think that walking through the basilica. Jesus is almost nowhere to be found except Michelangelo’s beautiful La Pietà and the cheesy, animatronic Nativity set. (I named it “Huck Finn says, ‘Come to Jesus!'” There was an animatronic boy dressed in denim overalls, I think, and fishing, next to the Holy Family and an animatronic hen and chicks. On the far left there was an animatronic blacksmith.) There was a Nativity set outside that played Christmas music including “Jingle Bells.” I couldn’t have any secular music at my Catholic wedding, and the Vatican plays “Jingle Bells.”
We did more sightseeing today and will do more Sunday and Monday. I’ll have to make a separate post another day with those pictures.