Friday, June 5, 2009

Roman Holiday: St. Peter's and Sistine Chapel

Our first full day in Rome. Second to last day of the trip. Thursday. We rise early, skip breakfast (big mistake) and head to the Vatican. When you get to the Vatican first thing, there are no queues to indicate where to enter St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican Museums, or The Sistine Chapel. So you wander aimlessly until a line forms that indicates the attraction. You then join a line, any line, because you are a sheep. St. Peter's Square:

Pigeon photographed while attempting to find an entrance to anything:

Swiss Guard, who turn you away, because this is not an entrance in which you are allowed:

Well labeled Vatican Mail Box:

Wow! Unreal. Inside St. Peter's Basilica:

We climbed the 500 some odd steps and fought off the ensuing vertigo to get to the top of the dome:

Photographs are not allowed inside the Sistine Chapel. Although, people were snapping them left and right. In my opinion, no photograph can do it justice. The Sistine Chapel was more amazing than I could have imagined. The sheer amount of figures masterfully painted in the space is amazing. The Sistine Chapel was one of my favorite things in Rome. Cliche, yes. Awesome? Undoubtably. A hall inside the Vatican Museum:

There are lots of interesting paintings and sculptures in the Vatican Museum:

By this time we are hungry and follow the advice of the trusty guide book and seek out the highly recommended Dino and Tony's Trattoria. It was well worth the search. We entered Dino and Tony's and were seated by either Dino or Tony, I'm not sure who. He then noted the guide book in Jeff's hand and indicated that he was in it! I then somehow managed to communicate to him that I don't eat meat and he proceeded to bring us plate after plate after plate of delicious food. Did I mention that there is no menu at Dino and Tony's? You eat what they bring you. And you like it. You really, really, really like it! Jeff eating the pasta alla grigia (pasta with pecorino, pancetta, and black pepper sauce. Jeff will tell you this is the best thing he has ever eaten. Ever.):

After stuffing ourselves silly at Dino and Tony's we walked the streets of Rome. Which, honestly, we really needed, as we had just consumed 3000 calories easily, each.

I was well into my winged angel kick at this point:

Street Market:

Secret Square (as described in Lonely Planet Rome Encounter). "At Via del Pellegrino 19, you'll stumble across a dimly lit archway called the Arco delgi Acetare (Vinegar Maker's Arch). Wander through it and into a magical medieval courtyard, flanked by sorbet -hued facades, flower-filled balconies and ivy-clad staircases spilling onto the cobbled square."

I let Jeff touch the camera again! He took an amazing picture at dinner. Thinking back now, I'm not even sure why we ate dinner that day! Probably just to get a chance to sit down after all that walking!

Tomorrow's our last day in Italy. We still need to see the Colosseum and The Roman Forum...

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