Friday, 8 August 2014

Wonders of the Vatican

On what was to be our last full day in Rome, we walked to the Vatican City; the place that I think is a must-see in Rome. If you ever find yourself lost in Rome for a few hours, spend it here. You will not be disappointed. 

But before we get stuck in, here's Audrey Hepburn, looking gorgeous as ever in A Roman Holiday. No reason, just really love her.

We walked everywhere during our holiday, which not only burned off the calories from all the crazy carb meals we had, but also allowed us to really take in the streets, something that we wouldn't have been able to do via tour bus or metro. 

Soon, St. Peter's Basilica was in sight, towering high and beckoning us to come closer. 

FUN FACT: The Basilica viewing deck is the highest point in The Vatican City. 

We had booked a tour with a company called Overome, who were outstanding. I cannot recommend them enough. We were in a party of only seven people, which means you can hear everything the guide was saying, plus we were able to skip all the queues into the Vatican and the Basilica. 

Our tour guide, Serafina, was just a fountain of knowledge. I have toured the Vatican before and this time around I think I learnt about triple the amount I did last time.

Here's a big pinecone for you all to enjoy, in the appropriately named Pinecone Courtyard. 

The Vatican is also home to more modern art, such as this model of the Earth, which spins on an axis. 

I didn't take too many photos inside the Vatican, as they really don't do justice to seeing them in real life. There are also incredible numbers of sculptures and art. This corridor of heads went on forever.

From a the top window, we viewed the streets of Rome in all their glory. 

Before entering another courtyard. 

The statue below is called Laocoön and His Sons. The man in the centre was the only person in Troy to attempt to reveal the fraud behind the Trojan horse, so the Greek goddess Athena sent snakes to kill him in order for the secret to be kept. 

The Hall of Animals. 

Another stunning ceiling.

The ceiling here is painted to look 3D, as though each square has been carved. However, it is merely a painting.

One of the only remaining Roman sculptures in bronze, as the rest were melted down during the Fall of Rome. The only reason this statue of Heracles survived was because it was struck by lightning when it was first built, so the Romans believed that the Gods were not happy with it. It was then buried to prevent bad luck.

The actual sculptures and paintings are just one aspect of the magnificence of the Vatican. The buildings themselves are incredible. 

The Hall of Maps.

The Vatican Gardens.

A map of Venice that is still accurate today, and also one of the next places to visit on my list!

After being overwhelmed by the art, we left the museum to find ourselves at the entrance to St. Peter's Basilica. 

Again, these photos really don't do justice to the inside of this church, which is why I only took three.

The Swiss Guards - Protectors of the Pope.

The British Guards - Protectors of...CAKE!

Oh and before I was my outfit.

Dress - Miss Selfridge | Shoes - New Look | Belt - Old (Similar Here)

My next post will be assessing the very important factor of Italian ice cream. Don't worry, I think I've found a winner.

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