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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 2 in Italy

Journal Entry, May 11, 2012

Well I had a hard time sleeping last night. I woke up at 2:30 am and couldn't get back to sleep until 6:30. We went downstairs for breakfast. I could get used to tarts, croissants, and meat (ham, bacon) for breakfast.

After that we freshened up and went to the Vatican for our tour. Very overwhelming. We went on a three hour tour. It would take 11 years if you looked at everything in the Vatican for one minute. Paintings by Raphael and Michelangelo of course. We went into the Sistine Chapel. Not at all what I expected. Much more! First of all I didn't expect it to be an actual chapel. I don't know why. We learned of so many hidden meanings and stories. I just can't even find the words. There really aren't any to describe it in the English language. We also went in to St. Peter's Basilica. Same thing. No words.

After our tour we went to the souvenir shop and to a fountain where Holy Water (water blessed by the Pope) is constantly flowing. I got a bottle full and some souvenirs. I also mailed a couple of post cards.

Then we went to a restaurant to eat. We got ripped off. Last night I had a plate of fettuccine and some bruchetta. Some biscotti and an espresso for $8.00. We shared a 1/2 litre of wine for 5.50.

Tonight we had bruchetta $10.00 for 3 pcs. 12.00 for caprese. $7.00 glass of tea. $20.00 for fettuccine. Ridiculous. Smooth waiter with no morals. I think he ripped us off but no proof. We were tired and just picked a close place to the Vatican to eat. We learned a lesson and it wasn't too much of a burden since we didn't eat lunch.

Then we walked some more. I know Mom & Dad's legs are hurting because mine do. We went on a "dark Rome" tour. It was fun. Full of interesting history. Murder stories. Tales of torture. Ghosts, skeletons and death.

We didn't get to our room until after 11:00 pm. We walked for 12 hours - at least.

There is so much more to talk about but I'm tired. It's late. And at least this entry will remind me of the day.

PS. Just found out our reservations for Milan are for 2 rooms - 2 people - double or twin bed - yikes! Hope we can change it.

Our walk to the Vatican

Here we are

Follow the red feather! It is not coming out of that man's head which is what it looks like in this picture! The one thing I was disappointed in the Vatican tour is that it was so crowded inside from so many tours going on at once, that we had to wear head phones and our guide wore a microphone and carried a red feather. That was the only way we could see her and hear her, and know which way to turn next, amongst all of the people.

This is us on a balcony area at the Vatican.

Following are lots of pics of statues, paintings, mosaics, and such. It seems that every square inch is covered in art, including the ceilings and floors.

I'll let you enjoy them. They are all part of our Vatican tour.

A view from the highest point of the Vatican that we were allowed in.

A view of the Vatican gardens from one of the windows at the Vatican.

Now I do have something to say about this painting by Raphael. See the guy in the corner in the left? Remember this was done hundreds of years ago.

The guy in the red hat. Who do you think it looks like?

The above picture is the hall to the Sistine Chapel. We were not allowed to take pictures inside the chapel. We were also not supposed to talk as it is a holy place. Now, as I said in my journal I was overwhelmed. It was amazing. The work Michelangelo did was completely amazing. Unimaginable that one human being could do something so...well as I said no words can describe. I keep saying amazing, but that's not quite good enough.

However, I was again disappointed in the crowd control. I was hoping I would go to this place and feel spiritual. I did not. I was in awe of the art and history. But the spirituality wasn't there because the entire time we were crammed in like a can of sardines and security was constantly shouting "No pictures" "No talking" It takes away from the moment.

The Vatican, The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica have turned into tourist attractions. On the other hand, were it not open to the public, I would never have experienced it.

This is a fountain (above) that constantly flows with Holy Water. I dumped my drinking water in a plant and filled my bottle with Holy Water.

The tour ended with us being able to walk freely around St. Peter's Basilica.




  1. The picture looks like Sylvester Stallone to me. Do we think alike? Beautiful pictures!!! Thanks for sharing again. Are you doing any gardening?

  2. Lovely photos!

    I loved the ceilings in the Vatican museum. I agree about the crowding - it was very crowded when we were there about 16 years ago and I guess it's just got worse.

  3. Glad you're back safe and sound, your trip sounds amazing :)

  4. Yes Brenda, Sylvester Stallone! The tour guide pointed it out to us and they wonder...since he is of Italian descent, could it be one of his relatives. Interesting huh? It does look just like him.

    Fiona - Yes it was very crowded. And I guess we weren't there during the busy season! The line to get into the Vatican was half way around the courtyard from morning until night. If you book a tour though, you don't wait in line. Everyone has to go through security to get inside. Just like at the airport.

    Cheryl, yes it was amazing.


  5. I know the feeling of no words being to do justice. Your pictures had me saying WOW!

  6. Cindy, What an amazing trip for your family. I love the pictures, thank you for sharing !!! I know what you are saying about prices how would you really know. Snacks in your purse are handing when walking lots...water girl. Got to have lots of water. Smiles, Susie

  7. What wonderful memories!!...:)JP

  8. Well Sylvester of course how cool is that you are very observant.
    Awesome pics. B

  9. This blog sure has become xxrated.....hehe

  10. I don't know if my previous comment was published :-/
    I said AWESOME TRIP!!! So glad you enjoyed it!!!
    --Peggy Lane

  11. Cindy,
    so far I am enjoying your trip! What great pictures and memories you are sharing with us.
    I remember in Washington Dc the microphone and head phones, it does make things easier to hear and clearer but takes away from the personal-ness.
    Your pictures are beautiful! Can't wait to see more!


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