Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s, and Sistine Chapel Posted on January 17th, 2011 by

The best way to approach the Vatican Museum is to not let it exhaust you, by not trying to exhaust it.

Members of the Gustavus group entering the Vatican Museum.

The knowledgeable local museum guides Ilaria and Carmela (the same ones who led Saturday’s excursions to the Colosseum and the Forum) deserve appreciation for sharing that philosophy and making it happen.

Ilaria and Carmelo  aptly brought the Gustavus contingent of more than 70 people through the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Cathedral, and the Sistine Chapel in less than 4 hours on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011.

During that time, the singers/travelers learned much about Greek and Roman art, history, and culture, and saw pieces including:

  • Michelangelo’s famous al fresco paintings on the ceiling and the walls of the Sistine Chapel. (Sorry no photos or video allowed in the chapel, but do look it up online as it is fascinating).
  • The sealed Holy Doors that are opened by the Pope every 25 years for Jubilee, at which time many people pilgrimage to the Vatican to walk through the doors to have their sins forgiven.
  • Intricately designed tapestries of the life of Christ, which were loomed in northern Europe in the 1500s.
  • Aerial maps of Italy painted with unbelievable accuracy in the 1500s — way before air travel.
  • Michelangelo’s “Pieta” or the white marble sculpture of Mary holding Jesus.
  • Statue of the Greek God of Music at the Vatican Museum.

    A Greek statute of the God of Music, created in B.C. time.

Like the Italian culinary custom of leisurely serving multiple-course meals, the half-day Vatican Museum tour left the group satisfied and full, but not uncomfortably so .

Perhaps that’s the Italian way to get people to keep coming back for more in the future.  Kind of like gelato, pasta, and pizza.  Once you’ve tried it, you want to come back again.

More on the beautiful and delicious Italian food in a future blog post.


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