Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 9 - Rome - Vatican City

 Day 9 was very full! We started off at the Vatican City, went on to the Coliseum, and then ended the day at Piazza Venezia and an authentic Trattoria dinner.  However, this day started off not so well - I was heading down to breakfast inside our hotel when an Italian man tried to take advantage of me.  I sort of got the feeling he was following me (more of a subconcious feeling) so rather than heading into the elevator which I was about to get on, I decided last second to take the open clear glass walled staircase thinking it was a safer option. I then realized for sure that he was following me - very closely - so I quickly turned to go back down the stairs, that's when he turned and started chasing me! He started grabbing me in very inappropriate places and I started RUNNING down the stairs.  I quick turned  back to him and yelled "NO!!!!!" and threw my arms out toward him to stop him, and I think he was kind of startled by my reaction - it gave me just enough time to run the opposite direction down a hall and just happened to run into a couple from our group.  Needless to say - it was a shaky start to the day!  I had heard that Italian men can be "grabby", but I wasn't expecting it to happen alone in a stairwell - and that was probably the only 20 seconds I was completely alone during our whole trip.  God is sovereign - He protected me and all is well. It is nice to know that I actually did remember to do all the right things in that kind of situation.   Then we were off to visit Vatican City. 

 The Resurrection Tapestry - so nice to see as we were coming up on Easter weekend. 

 This ceiling is all painted - isn't that incredible?   There is no trim, woodwork, or moulding - it's all paint.  

This was the last picture I could take before entering the Cappella Sistina - The Sistine Chapel.  It was so difficult to not take any photos - but what a remarkable place!

This is not my picture - taken from THIS internet source
Here you can see what it was like inside the Sistene Chapel - Michelangelo's original paintings on the ceiling - absolutely amazing.  And right in the very middle is the famous "Hands of God and Adam" painting. 
It was so surreal standing in the very room where not only Michelangelo painted some famous pieces (and apparently took years to be paid!) but also to stand in the place where the new Pope had been recently selected, - and to even stand in the exact spot where the temporary fire place which is attached to the famous chimney while the world watches for the black smoke to turn white signaling the Cardinals have elected a new pope. 
 The famous stairs the Pope uses to exit the Sistene Chapel. 

 The outdoor area set up and ready for Palm Sunday and Easter where the Pope makes his appearance on the famous balcony. 
 We then visited "Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano" - St. Peter's Basilica.  Simply stunning! 

 The middle aisle where only the Pope can walk. 
 The very famous sculpture "The Pieta" - by Michelangelo when he was only 24 in the year 1498. 
 The girls were mesmerized :) 
 It was very interesting to see the Basilica getting all cleaned and polished up for the Easter Services. 

 A guard at one of the entrances to The Vatican City.