Vatican: The Tiny Country
The Roman architecture leaves you spellbound. The magnificent statues, beautiful fountains, lovely frescoes, romantic bridges, huge buildings, lovely paintings...What a legacy!
I traveled to Vatican City, the smallest country of the world, pre booking my tickets from http://mv.vatican.va/. The Vatican is well connected via buses and the metro (line A). I entered the Vatican and was awed by St. Peters Basilica (which I ahd to visit after the museums). I was approached by several tour guides who were thronging near the gates recommending me to take a long tour or to avoid the long queues. But I had an advantage since my tickets were booked beforehand.
|The Facade by Michelangelo|
The Vatican museums are nothing like you had seen. HUGE! They left me astounded; so much art and history in every room, some places are itched in my memory. The Renaissance and Gothic architecture of the Sistine Chappel was so impressive. The museum gift shops so pretty. There were endless piles of books on art and history of the place, keychains, mugs, accesories that the Pope wears etc.
|St. Peters Basilica- the Dome from Vatican Museum|
Another interesting part of the museum was the grand Spiral Staircase. Designed in 1932 by Giuseppe Momo, it was most unusual and photographed. I was immediately drawn to it.
|The Spiral Staircase|
Although there was everything that an art lover could ask for in the Vatican museums, nothing catches the fancy of the people more than the St. Peters Basilica. After a 30 minute long queque (the swiss gaurds on the right), I was inside this holy site but literally standing open mouthed. It was enormous!
The interiors are filled with sculptors designed by Michelangelo, Maderno, and Bernini. I wondered how there wasn't even a speck of dust inside this opulent structure. The basilica also contains a number of tombs of previous Popes. Standing near Bernini's four poster bronze canaopy made me feel like a dwarf.
The Vatican was an entirely different experience; although you feel a little historically hungover after it ends. So I walked back towards the Roman avenues to grab a bite of anItalian pizza. Crossing the beautiful bridge-Ponte Sant'Angelo, which stands on the river Tiber, I thought given a chance I would probably come back to Vatican even though for now it is definitely off my bucket list ;-)