Let’s countdown from number 10:
10. While leaving the Vatican, the Swiss guards stand protecting this fortress. These men remain the toughest and best trained army in the world; however, the uniforms camouflage them to look like they are straight from a MC Hammer music video or from a fancy circus. You definitely don’t want to touch this.
9. After looking at room after room of detailed artwork, I wandered away from the main area to find an untouched room. This room had no paint, no artwork, nothing on the ceiling; everything laid bare in stark white. The bland room showed what the Vatican would look like if not touched by such talent.
8. How can I not mention the ceilings of the Vatican. Seriously, every single ceiling on the tour consists of painted stories and such rich details – the work is absolutely amazing!
7. Toward the end of walking around the Vatican, one room subtly jumped out at me. At first glance, the side of the room appears to contain statues sitting against the wall; however, when you look closer, those are really not sculptures. These pieces of work are actually painted onto the walls.
6. In the Da Vinci Code, the author talks about hidden meanings in artwork; consequently, in the courtyard, another piece of work had been shipped in the recent years to sit among the pieces of history which has it’s own hidden meaning. This bronze globe called “Sfera con Sfera” actually contains a bit of a disturbing message when you do some deep research about it.
5. While walking around a museum layered in Roman artwork, a random portion of rooms exist in dedicated to Egypt. I have always be intrigued by Egypt’s history and art; so I was thrilled to find these room showing mummies, stones covered with hieroglyphs, and many other artifacts.
4. Each area has a devotion to a theme; such as to rugs, tubs, and animals. My favorite of the tubs, filled out an outdoor space which continued indoors. Outside, the dozens of them sit around a fountain; but once you return to the interior again, you’ll find the largest basin of them all. This impressive basin takes up a whole room while resting it’s legs on the most intracate mosaic floor.
3. I will never forget the line and people I stood around while waiting to get in. I stood from 8-11am to get in. When you think you may be close to the entrance after that next corner, you’re wrong, there waits another long row of people and a few more corners. After you enter the building, there’s yet another long maze of a line. As I got close to seeing the ticket booth, this couple with fanny packs on in front of me crack open a couple cans of beer and proceed to eat potato chips and leave a trail behind, as well as on themselves. A clear moment of “you might be a redneck when…”.
2. As I made my journey through room after room of the Vatican, I kept wondering: where’s the famous Creation scene? The very last room I entered contained the world famous scene by Michelangelo. The room had a platform for the Italian men to supervise everyone, while in their deep accents they announce every five minutes: no photos please!! All us tourists stay quiet in intervals, when everyone starts getting louder, that’s the best time to try to sneak a shot.
1. A few rooms prior to the Sistine Chapel, you will approach a long walkway illuminated in a golden tone. Once you enter through a pair of heavy doors, the shear beauty is awe inspiring. The walls beneath the ceiling hang with overview pictures of the different states and towns within Italy. The light from the windows and the gap beneath the edges of the ceiling give the area that golden glow. This elongated path of artwork remains one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen to this day.