Buongiorno bambini! I know, there’s only so many ways you can spin good morning, but hey, I’m doing my best. I didn’t get anywhere near a full 8 hours last night, so I am feeling very, very sluggish today. I have some good brain fog going on, so much so that it is a struggle to find some clever words for this post. Hopefully some divine intervention will help, since we are going to il Vaticano oggi (The Vatican today). This certainly will be one of the highlights of the trip, since even if you are not religious and especially if you are, you can appreciate the magnificent architecture and artistry that inspired and went into the structures we will visit. Fingers crossed that breakfast will give me a little boost to get through the day 🤞
Let’s fast forward to 8:45 and we’re back at the hotel for the evening. I’m showering and sitting in the lobby waiting for the usual chaperone meeting. We had an eventful day, but thankfully not as busy as yesterday. We had a bit of a drive to the Vatican, where we arrived to meet our tour guide for visit to the Holy See. Again we had to divide into two groups, with 4 guys from St. Pats having to join St. Ignatius to even out the parties. Our guide today was Frederica, who was extremely pleasant and knowledgable.
We began with a quick trip outside, where we got a look at the Sistine Chapel, which cannot be seen from St. Peters’ Square, and other structures. From there we processed through the hallways of the Vatican Museum, again with ridiculously large crowds, to view the multitude of items in the collection. This ranged from sculptures, to paintings, to tapestries and many artifacts from Etruscan and Greek antiquity. Then we made our way through the chapel, which underwent an extensive cleaning since I last saw it in 1992. There are no photos and video allowed there, so we just took in the beauty of the ceiling, the Last Judgment and the other paintings that adorn the interior.
From the Sistine Chapel, we made our way to St. Peter’s Square and into the basilica, the most famous church in the world. I had seen it before, but maybe 18 year old me didn’t appreciate the amazing structure what what it is. It is unbelievably jaw dropping with its decor and architecture. The photos I took turned out well, so I hope that the video was equally fantastic. Before we left, we had a chance to visit the gift shop and then posed for a group photo in front of the square.
Our afternoon was very mellow, but still interesting. After lunch we walked to the Pantheon, where the crowds were much smaller than Sunday, so we were able to visit the inside. It was built by the Romans as a temple to the gods, and it’s dome is still a marvel of architecture in how it was designed and built. Then there was some free time in a market area, before we hiked over to the Theatre of Pompey, where Julius Caesar was murdered. Like I have on many occasions on this trip, I learned some new things during Kent’s explanation of the event.
Supper was at Taverna Carioli, which consisted of salad, lasagna and tiramis, which was all not bad. Our plan to end the evening was to have the bus drop us off at the shopping mall across the road from our hotel, but we have more time after supper tomorrow, so it was postponed until then.
Anywho, I better turn in since I did not sleep well last night. Tomorrow we are off to Anzio, which is about a 1.5 hour bus ride to the south. I’m sure the kids will appreciate a chance to sleep more on the bus, and I will love to see the scenery. Until then…