Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Roman Holiday: St. Peter's Basilica

Bonjour mes amis!
And now back to that busy day at the Vatican.  After our gelato break we headed over to St. Peter's Square to enjoy the sunshine and the cathedral...

 St. Peter's Cathedral

 The Papal Apartments and Obelisk

 Swiss Guards
They guard the Pope and are the "army" for Vatican City.  Those outfits are something else...

 Stuff study abroad students say: "Can you please take a picture of me?"

 Inside the Basilica

 Fresco on the dome of St. Peter's.

 There are a lot of popes buried in the Cathedral.
Here we have Pope Pius X raising the roof...

 List of all the popes.
There are a lot of them...

 Altar of St. Peter's.
The stone barrier leads down into the catacombs underneath the basilica, St. Peter is buried down there.

 The Pieta
Michelangelo sculpted this when he was 23.  23!!  What a genius. The marble is beautiful, and the facial expressions show so much emotion....again, you have to see it in person!  Photos do not do it justice.

 Tomb of Pope John Paul II. 
A popular site...

 The Piazza was redesigned by Bernini from 1656-1667.  The space was meant to impress people with the power of God, and make it so the maximum number of people could see the Pope for his blessings.  There are screens set up around the square, I assume they are for showing the Pope when his is presiding over Mass.
 The Vatican is its own country, and they do have their own post office...

On my last night in Rome, I met up with my KKG sister Carol, who is studying abroad in Rome.  She lives literally 2 minutes from the Vatican (she and the Pope are neighbours!) and we visited the square by night.  It was so different, beautifully lit and way less people.  It was another one of those moments where I had to pinch myself and remember how lucky I am...
 Walking up to the Vatican

 Bernini's Fountain, and the Papal Apartments.  Maybe he's home! Or maybe someone forgot to turn off the lights....

KKG at the Vatican!


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