Ad visits the Pope’s place.

The second day of our Italian trip was very hot, and by the end of the day we were totally exhausted after walking for hours, up and down many steps, both in the Vatican City, and the Colosseum. It was really fascinating though, and we saw such a lot of amazing sights, and took many photos.

Here is the outside of the Vatican fortress wall. It’s really high, and I’m sure not even Spiderman could manage to scale it. We were told that there are about 20,000 visitors per day. Vatican City has 850 inhabitants and is a separate country from Italy.

It’s guarded by the Swiss Guard, and also has it’s own police force.

The gardens were really beautiful and well kept, as one would expect.

Here is a pic of the 136.57 m tall St Peter’s Dome, viewed from the Vatican Gardens. It’s the tallest dome in the world, and looked so magnificent as it glistened in the sun against the blue sky.

Here is the inside of the Dome looking up.

The entrance to the Saint Peter’s Basilica is decorated with a myriad statues!

Once inside, there were so many photo opportunities.

This sculpture by Michelangelo is entitled “The Pieta, It’s the first of a number of his works on the same theme, and is the only one which he actually signed.

This one, executed by a team of artists under the supervision of the sculptor, Bernini, is Pope Alexander VII’s tomb. It shows him kneeling on top of his grave, surrounded by the four virtues (Charity, Truth, Prudence, and Justice). Death is underneath the shroud and is holding up an hourglass.

The vast proportions of these beautiful marble pillars and sculptures are truly breathtaking.

We really did see so many wonderful sights, too numerous to show you here.

My head was bobbing up, down, and round and round, trying to take in all the beauty from marble floors,

to magnificent walls and ceilings.

When we entered the Sistine Chapel, no photography was allowed, so here is a photograph of a photograph of the end wall depicting the “Last Judgement.” We were told that Michelangelo had superimposed the faces of some people who had given him a really hard time during his career, on those folk relegated to Hell at the bottom of this “Judgement Day,” scene.

There are 1,100 sq m of paintings in the chapel, and it’s beauty is astounding. One isn’t allowed to talk at all, and every few seconds, a pre-recorded and rather loud “Sshhh,” came over the speaker system, to remind everyone to keep QUIET. 😉

We marvelled at, and wondered about the meaning of this interesting bronze sculpture outside the Vatican museum. It’s called “Sfera Con Sfera” (“Sphere Within a Sphere”) and was created by Arnaldo Pomodoro. I read that several such sculptures of varying diameters, are to be found at other places around the world, including the UN Headquarters in New York.

Inside were so many statues, which were all white, but here is a replica of what they would have looked like originally; very colourful indeed. I was so surprised, as I  didn’t imagine that they had once been painted.

We visited the many galleries in the museum, and looked up in absolute awe at the beautiful ceiling frescos in the “Map Gallery.” These, and so many others were absolutely magnificent.

It was about here, that hubby almost lost me forever. It was very crowded, and I’d wandered off on my own, which is always a mistake.  Not seeing him and the rest of our group, I decided that they must be ahead of me. In a bit of a panic, I went charging off to catch them up, not realising that they were still way back. My guardian and protector eventually managed to catch up with me, and lead me back to the safety of the fold, giving me strict instructions to stay close. 😉

The Tapestry Gallery was also a wonder to behold. The mind boggles just imagining all the work that must have gone into creating these enormous tapestries.

There were statues everywhere we looked, and I think I saw enough to last me for quite a while; in fact I believe I actually overdosed on statues that day.

As we were leaving the museum, we passed the private entrance to the papal apartments. How I would love an invitation to enter through that glass door.

Well I think that’s quite enough photo downloading for today, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to wander around the Colosseum with me.