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Vatican

Adorable Chick

Italy, Greece & Montenegro Diary : Day 14 - 15th May 2018

The Day started with great excitement. Our schedule consisted of a half day tour of the Vatican musuems. The internet helped us tick the TOP 10 “TO DOs” in Vatican in that limited time. This included all the Vatican museums, The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica , St. Peter’s Square and a visit to the Castel Sant Angelo (Read Rome 1 for the story).

After a good home made breakfast, we set out to visit the smallest country in the world. Home to the Pope and some unbeatable architecture, the Vatican is the only one to be considered as a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE COUNTRY. It amazed us that despite being such a small drop in the Ocean, it has its own football team, an own army and records itself as the a nation with highest wine consumption.

First, a short walk to Re DI ROMA metro station , then a train to OTTAVIANO station, continued by a short walk to the Vatican Museums. The Museums stand guarded by a high fortress like wall that runs a long length. We had booked our tickets online much in advance and therefore joined the queue , produced our tickets to gain access.

The tour begins with visits to various museums that one can choose to enter depending on their interest. If you are a history lover, you are going to need more than one whole day to just understand and appreciate all that is stored in here. I can’t even recollect how we managed to just scroll through all of it in half a day. At the very beginning was the PIETA sculpted by MICHELANGELO himself. We had heard a lot about this creation until then. Sitting with its back facing the wall is this famous sculpture displaying Lord Jesus lying on the lap of Mother Mary immediately after his crucification. The word Pieta means "Pity" , where Mother Mary's pitiful condition of having to hold her dead son in her arms is beautifully depicted.

Tidy Desk

We moved from room to room adoring the pieces of art that was displayed. Each piece was unique by itself and oozed the glory of the period. Paintings, Frescoes, Relief , sculptures and many more artworks were displayed. Home to at least 70000 pieces of art work , the museums in the Vatican today attract the most number of visitors from all over the world. The collections include treasures from Egypt, Greece to Rome, ranging from the early Medieval, the Renaissance to the contemporary .

All these treasures are split and displayed in various Galleries - The Tapestry Gallery, The new wing Gallery, Lapidaria Gallery, Candelabra Gallery to name a few. The paintings poured out stories from the Bible. I found the Gallery of maps quite interesting. It was great to see age old maps and how places were depicted in ancient times.

As we moved from gallery to gallery, each one seemed to out beat the other. The collection of relief, sculptures, bust and mosaic work from the Roman period was mind blowing. The clothes and expressions of human figures were all etched to perfection. After a beautiful display of the collections belonging to the Roman era, we entered the Egyptian museum. There was a detailed description of the process of embalming during ancient Egyptian times. The mummy of Amenirdis along with its originally painted wooden lid is on display. The story behind mummification and its detailed process was very interesting to read. There were nearly nine rooms which we passed one after another. Each one of them was equally interesting.

It was just sad that we didn't have enough time to spend an entire day here. The pots and pans used by an entire era were on display. The museum is an absolute encyclopaedia offering details of every piece that is on display. We reached a room displaying various sculptures. The emotions depicted on each piece of stone here is commendable. Crossing many hallways we reached the SISTINE CHAPEL.