Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sightseeing Vatican City - October 9, 2009

Another part of my overdue Europe trip post….Although we walked through the grounds of Vatican City everyday, we finally managed to squeeze in some time to check out the spectacular St. Peter’s Basilica / Basilica Papale di San Pietro. The basilica has the biggest in the world with the capability to hold up to 60,000 people. Construction of this church began in 1506 and completed in 1626. You will find works of many artist especially Michelangelo and Bernini in the church.

We were at St. Peter’s during the end of the day, around 4.30 – 5pm. I think the entrance closes at 5.30pm. The line wasn’t too long and the only crawl was basically going through the airport screening like security. There were also signs on the proper attire to enter church grounds; basically nothing too revealing.


We’re all awestruck with the interior of the church. It’s HUGE! Everything looks so amazing! At the end of the main tribune /apse (Bottom Left) lays a grand gold and bronze monument. The sculpture was created by Bernini to enclose the wooden throne of St. Peter. The Baldacchino rising above the Papal Altar (Bottom Center) itself was gigantic and mind boggling. This is another work of Bernini and St. Peter’s tomb lies beneath the altar. The grand dome sits in the center of the church (Bottom Right) which is the largest dome in the world. The dome was started by Michelangelo before he died and was finished by  Giacomo della Porta in 1590 is the tallest dome in the world.

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More intricate and beautiful work inside the church (Bottom Left). Monument to Pius VIII (Bottom RIght) is just one of many sculptures/statues inside the church. Did I mention that entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica is FREE??

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And how could I not take pictures of the famous Swiss Guard (Bottom Left) @ Vatican City!!?? Look at how cute the guard is in his little outfit.

After the impressive visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, we headed back to our B&B to wash up and get some dinner before heading out again. Dinner that night was cheap and easy since there was a grocery store below our B&B. We bought sandwiches for Euro 1 and beer for Euro 0.45 a can! =)

After dinner, we were off to the Vatican Museum. Yes, you read it right…we went to the museum after the sun sets..after dinner. They happen to open the museum at night in the months of September and October, so we decided to jump on the opportunity for our version of Night at the Museum. We bought out ticket online in advance (in the US) for Euro 17 or Euro 18. That includes the premium fee of Euro 4 to get the ticket in advance and online to avoid the long lines of getting the ticket. We also have to pick the time we want to enter the museum and arrived there minutes before. Exactly at 7.30pm (the time we picked), we were called to enter the museum. This is so much better than waiting under the scorching sun to get into the museum during the day. I’ve heard stories and seen pictures were people lined up for 2 hours just to get into the Vatican Museum.

Here are some pictures we took inside the museum grounds. Photography is allowed inside the museum except the world famous Sistine Chapel. I did see a few tourist nonchalantly ignored the photography warning and snapped a picture or two of the famous painting by Michelangelo, the Creation of Adam. Rules are rules and I’m proud that I stuck by it. All I did was just soak in the masterpiece with my eyes and memories. Impressive as it may seem, I honestly almost missed the painting on the ceiling!

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One of the world’s greatest museum houses plenty of artifacts of different make, history and origin.


One of the highlights of my Europe trip are the ceilings! Seriously, I was truly impressed with their ceilings. Be it the ceiling inside the Vatican Museum, or an small little church… I can’t help but be amazed with the masterpieces and take pictures after pictures of them!


Each of them are all unique and are just incredible. I did not get bored with the intricate details of the ceilings. Although, I could feel my neck getting stiff after a while! =) It was nothing a yummy gelato can’t fix. Haha!

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Did I mention I love those Roman ceilings?? And I’m serious when I said I took tons of pictures of them! The picture on the bottom right is a mosaic floor for a change. =)


The whole Night at the Museum trip took us about 2 hours plus. It was nice that it wasn’t overly crowded so we could really enjoy ourselves there. Too bad, there wasn’t a Rexy we could play with and no we did not see Genghis Khan!

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