Rome is the city that used to be the center of the world. In some ways it still has a lot of power in the world, with Vatican City and the Pope, as well as being the capital of Italy. We started out by going into the Vatican. We wanted to go to the Sistine Chapel first. The line was not too bad, and once we went inside, we realized that it is not only the entrance to the Sistine Chapel, but also to the Vatican museum. This was a great museum. It’s amazing actually what the Popes have acquired over the years, especially in Roman and Greek artwork.
There were Egyptian mummies (including the actual dead body) and gods. There were Greek and Roman gods. We got the audio guide, and shared it as we walked through, which was fun. Some of the descriptions were very helpful, others were a bit too long.
The museum is in parts of an old Pope’s mansion, and it was absolutely amazing. The ceilings were almost all paintings, there was a hallway that had paintings of all of Italy on the walls in a series of different paintings (probably 12 or more) and the paintings were each about 4 feet by 6 feet at least.
It was here that I must admit that I screwed up and deleted most of my pictures that I took in there by accident. I do happen to still have the pictures that I took inside the Sistine Chapel, which is funny, since it was the only place in the museum that you weren’t supposed to take photos. I wasn’t going to – but everyone else was – and I don’t use a flash, which is what damages the art anyway.
The chapel itself was different that I expected. It is a rectangular room, with a high ceiling, but it was unadorned except for the paintings.
It really was incredible still. I wish there hadn’t been 400 people crammed in there, but I really loved seeing it all the same. I still don’t know what all the paintings were, but the main narratives are very good. The ceiling tells the story of the beginning… first God created light, then the fall of Satan, then God created the heavens and the earth, then mankind. Then Adam and Eve are in the garden walking with God. After that, Satan comes to Adam and Eve and tempts them, then they fall and are kicked out of Eden.
After that the story of mankind continues with the story of Noah… a righteous man, who is saved from destruction by God, and afterwards gets drunk in his tent… showing that righteousness is not possible with mankind still.
Along the left hand wall is the narrative of Moses and the Israelites, coming out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Along the right hand wall is the narrative of Jesus’ life and death to pay the price to bring mankind back to God.
On the front wall, looking to the altar is the work that Michelangelo did near the end of his life: The Final Judgement. In it Jesus looks like the first Adam, before sin entered his life, showing that Jesus is the second Adam, who redeems mankind from the sin and death that came through the first Adam. The whole painting is in accordance with Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Josh and I went to Trevi Fountain next, but it started to pour rain on our way there. We took shelter in a coffee shop and drank amazing cappuccinos. When the rain started slowing down, we decided to continue on our way. We saw the fountain, but I didn’t take very many good photos because I didn’t want to get my camera wet.
After that we headed to the Colosseum. It was large and I’m sure impressive in its day. I honestly would love if they rebuilt these monuments, instead of leaving them half crumbled. There were no seats left, but you can imagine all the people coming and sitting and cheering and eating and gambling. It really was an incredible venue, they had large sets underground which they raised up for different shows/battle reenactments. I read on one of the information sheets that they were able to recreate naval battles and everything through filling it with water sometimes. Craziness!
We headed back to the train, and then the boat after the Colosseum. Unfortunately, when we got to the shuttle stop, we had missed the last shuttle. There were other people there too, but Josh and I didn’t want to miss our boat, so we started walking towards it immediately. We had about 20 minutes until we were supposed to be there, but the port was very large, and even with jogging and running some of the way, we were 5 minutes late. Thankfully they don’t leave immediately, but do try to make sure everyone can get on board.
When we got there they were bringing a car load of other people up from the pier as well. One lady had asthma, and they had tried walking too, but couldn’t go as fast as us. She was very thankful that they had picked her up. We were all so excited to make it to the boat that we were cheering and hugging each other.
“We made it!”
Then the captain says, “Yes, you made it, now you must get on the boat!”
Another group of late arrivers came up as we went on board, but a woman among them was not excited to be there, she was irate.
“WHY NO BUS?!?” she screamed at the captain.
“Don’t yell at me ma’am. I will listen to you when you talk, but do not yell at me.”
We were very glad we made it and promised ourselves to never have to do that again. It was not a pleasant jog down the pier in a panic.