Postcard 5 from Italy
June 4, 2018
We were up and out of the apartment by 8:00am and Ubered to the Vatican. Today we are touring the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. The throngs of people in line were staggering. We all panicked! I have never seen so many people in one place. Fortunately, Scott got tickets ahead of time and we navigated inch by inch to the correct line. We got our map and headed off. It was overwhelming; there was so much to see. Some of the rooms were filled with so many people, all I could compare it to, was LA traffic at a standstill. We were way too close to strangers’ bodies and personal space.
A little history first. Vatican City is a city-state with an area of 110 acres of Rome, Italy, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and home of the Pope. Within the city are the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums.
Let me start by saying it was more than overwhelming. Besides the crowds of slowly moving tourists, everywhere you looked you saw incredible history from the past. The abundant museums house sculptures, paintings, and artifacts dated from before Christ. There is gold everywhere. You always have to look up; the ceilings are covered with paintings, frescos, and gold leaf, lots and lots of gold leaf. To stand in all three of these historical building is astounding. Words cannot convey the images and feelings you have thinking about all of the historical pasts that took place in these buildings; it renders you speechless. You have to see it yourself; I just can’t put it into words.
*Side Note: We entered a large room at the Vatican museum that was solely sculptures without heads, and later entered a similar room of just busts; if only they could match them us with each other.
Melissa and I took a break and sat on the steps of the Basilica while Steve, Scott and the kids walked 551 steps to the dome of the Basilica. The photos they brought back were astounding. The view was amazing.
We walked back to the apartment meandering through winding streets by small piazzas and stopping by quaint little stores and markets. We stopped at a leather shop just around the corner from our apartment, where we met the owner, Roberto, who hand makes all his merchandise. Layne bought a beautiful handmade leather jacket to add to her fashion collection. Since it is the middle of summer and not really leather jacket weather, he gave her a great deal and surprised Melissa with some leather earrings. Home for a little rest and out again for a late Italian meal at a local restaurant around the corner rated with 5 stars. Scott had his 3 courses, while we ordered various plates that were all delicious. Here we met the owner, Francesco, who paused until we had the first bite of our meal, to make sure it was worthy. Giving us an expectant look, he would stand next to each of us and wait until the fork went into our mouths and he heard Ummmm…..
Melissa is now conversing easily in Italian so much so, that the Italians think she is Italian.