In Italy, within the city of Rome, lies the heart and soul of Christianity. This walled enclave is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world. It also houses some of the greatest treasures and artifacts known to mankind. On top of all these, Vatican City houses one of the most powerful and influential man in the world. For one tiny second, allow me to paint you a cute image of our Pope saying, “Welcome to my crib.”
Within Vatican City, there are 3 cultural sites: St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. These 3 sites feature some of the world’s most famous, old and priceless paintings and sculptures. I visited Vatican City on my first time in Rome when I was with my siblings and our mother. Naturally, our mom wanted to take us to the Vatican, on top of being Catholics, as it is truly one of the best places to see a lot of masterpieces and beautiful pieces that mankind has created.
This post is mainly on the Vatican museums and Inner Grounds plus a tiny portion on the Sistine Chapel. Are you ready to take a sneak peek into the majestic Vatican?
Special fact: At more than one point during the tour, I may have gotten genuinely scared because the works of art we saw were REALLY breathtaking. One of my most favorite art pieces is the sculpture displayed just by the grounds when you enter the city. I embedded a video at the bottom of this post so you can see some video footage of the tour, plus close up of this eerie sculpture. Watch the video and I swear you shall get tiny goosebumps. The sculpture was created so intricately that the figures looked like real live humans with a coat of cement on top of their skin. Just watch the video and forward to the last part so you can see what I mean.
Some of the roof paintings inside the Vatican are actually 3D. The surface is flat but when you look at it, it looks like there’s a more complicated texture and different shapes to it. An example of this is the picture of the dome on the bottom. It looks like it has a lot of rigids and pocket right? But in reality, the surface of the roof is FLAT and it’s only with the artist’s paint and mind blowing, scratch your head/beard/cheek skill.
There are a whopping total of 54 galleries or salas within the Vatican Museums, with the Sistine Chapel being the largest sala/gallery. These museums display works from the immense collection built and curated by the Popes throughout the centuries. The collections include some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of art from the Renaissance period.
I apologize for the lack of pictures since my tour group and I, along with all the other tourists, were herded along like cows through each gallery.
Once you enter the Vatican Museum, it only goes one way, there is no turning back. Lol. That sounds so ominous. But seriously though. You have just a few minutes to breathe in all that beauty before you are forced to move on to the next one gallery. They’re arranged in such a way that it feels like you’re walking through football fields that are interconnected. I didn’t realize how big the Vatican museums were! I felt like I was paralyzed, to be honest. Cause there was too much going on and my senses felt like exploding. My eyes throbbed so much cause I was looking at everything, trying to take in as much as I can with the short time I had. That’s why I didn’t have as much pictures as I would have liked.
It is with great regret and shame that I confess that I looked like an utter idiot while going through the Vatican Museums. Picture this: You walking on a crowded street, pressed on all sides by people who are also making their way to wherever. A bunch of street vendors barking out to passersby to buy their shit, which happens to not only crowd your sight but also your sense of smell. Everyone is talking, cars are honking, music is blasting from a pirated DVD/CD booth. THIS is a close image of what it’s like to go through this tour. There is TOO MUCH to take in, and on more than one occasion, I found myself having to consciously close my mouth because I was in awe with everything I saw. I may not practice Christianity anymore (I am so sorry, I mean no offense), but the treasures and art in these hallowed halls left me awestruck. The Vatican is truly one of the richest places in this world, LITERALLY. These pieces amass to billions (just a guess but I think it’s not far fetched haha). BILLIONS.
My grandmother (who is a very very traditional Christian) has always told us that The Vatican is one of her favorite places. I always thought it was because she was a die-hard Christian, but now I realize it was more than that. The Vatican is truly a place of beauty not only for its structure but also for the pieces and history that it houses. Due to this observation, I highly suggest that even though ya’ll don’t practice the religion, The Vatican is still a great stop to take when you find yourself in Italy.
P.S. Thanks to Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”, I found myself ogling at some pieces that he has mentioned in his book. Plus I was desperate to go to the Vatican library that housed some of the most ancient books and scrolls. Can you imagine the information stored in that library? Drool.
Only downside to my Vatican visit? I did not see The Pope. Boo.
VIDEO: A Peek Into The Vatican’s Inner Grounds & Museums
Visiting The Vatican is so overwhelming because it’s literally thousands of years of treasures. Have you been to The Vatican? Which one is your favorite? If you haven’t, what would you be most excited to see inside the grounds and their vast museums?