Monthly Archives: September 2011

St. Peter’s Square and Vatican court jesters (oops, I mean “guards”)

Our first glimpse of St. Peter’s Square came as we exited the gigantic St. Peter’s Basilica.  Most people do it the other way around by coming through the square to enter the cathedral.  But we took a shortcut from the … Continue reading

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St. Peter’s Basilica — Wow!

St. Peter’s Basilica is a gigantic place!  It’s the Ultrasaurus of cathedrals!  It covers 6 acres, and 2 football fields would fit in the central nave.  It was designed and decorated by masters from both the Renaissance and Baroque eras.  … Continue reading

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Separated at the Sistine Chapel!

I never dreamed (or had a nightmare) that when I finally got to see the famous Sistine Chapel, I would remember it more for what happened to pull me away from it than for the amazing artwork I saw inside … Continue reading

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The Sistine Chapel: A feast for the eyes

It’s an exercise in patience getting to the Sistine Chapel, but once you get there, try to find a seat and take it all in at your own pace.  Don’t hurry.  Try to tune out the noise and the crowds … Continue reading

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The Vatican Museum: Opulence, Grandeur and Great Art

After strolling leisurely through the practically empty National Museum earlier in the day, it was an uncomfortable contrast to be herded like cattle through the extremely crowded Vatican Museum.  I hear it’s always crowded, though, so you just have to … Continue reading

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The National Museum: Worth a quick look

For a Roman history buff, The National Museum would probably be fascinating.  But for me, there were only a few standout things to see here, and if I had missed it completely, I wouldn’t have felt bad.  Still, the things … Continue reading

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Roman Forum: Rubble was once the Center of the Civilized World

There are very few complete buildings left at the Roman Forum. Much of what is there is drab, gray rubble, broken statues, and the stubby remains of columns. But with some imagination and a good guide (human or audio), you … Continue reading

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