"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Vatican and St Peters Basilica

I have always, always wanted to see the Vatican so this was the first thing that I planned for our full day in Rome.  I knew that I was probably idealizing things a little bit, but I always imagined it filled with works by artists who used every ounce of their creativity, energy and effort to glorify the Living God.  I always thought that I would walk in and just be overwhelmed by the great things that the Holy Spirit can inspire. 

Well… I was a leetle bit disappointed because there was a lot of pieces from old pagan Rome in there, as well as a lot of art work that I think were more for the glory of the Pope at the time it was made, and not for the Holy One of Israel.  However, as a museum lover, it was still pretty cool, even if it didn’t have 1/10th the art devoted to the Hope of Nations that I thought it should.

Me in the Vatican, by a pretty window.


Our adorable traveling companions, Jessy and John.


My favorite room in the Vatican, the Hall of Maps.  It went on and on and on.  The ceiling was covered in different paintings, every piece must have taken someone weeks or months to finish.  The walls all had maps of the world (as it was understood to look at the time).  It was really cool to see how the world was visualized before we were able to take aerial photos.


The Vatican is filled with room after room of the most amazing paintings.  I don’t think that there are any living artists today who can even compare to these guys. 

This particular picture cracks me up.  It had a plaque next to it that said it was made by one of Michelangelo’s students and was not as well thought of as paintings in the other rooms… okay… from where I was standing it looked so intricate and beautiful.


NO PICTURES ALLOWED IN THE SISTINE CHAPEL! BOO. It was very, very high and the paintings were just as beautiful as I imagined they would be, but it was hard to enjoy because it was really noisy in there.  That was the last stop on our tour of the Vatican before we exited and headed to St Peters.

Here we are dropping off our bags and the stroller before we go into St Peter’s Basilica.  Isla wanted to keep hers.


Jessy explaining what we were seeing from her Eyewitness Travel: Rome book.  For the record, their Eyewitness Travel books totally kicked my Rick Steve’s Italy in the pants where the sun don’t shine.


La Pieta, by Michelangelo.  It was so beautiful.  Especially now that I have become a mother, it makes me ache for Mary everything that she witnessed her Son endure.


Pretty grand.


Isla was running around and was totally oblivious to the fact that we were in a holy place. Irreverent little heathen!


Me and my girl.  After I told her that if she wanted to “ock” (that means “walk”) she had to hold my hand and not run around, otherwise, she would be riding on Daddy’s shoulders.


Outside, figuring our next move!  Isla was very interested in the Eyewitness Travel book.


She also loved playing with Jessy and John!


Isla’s latest thing.  She will lie down on the floor anywhere and I mean anywhere, roll around and laugh and laugh and laugh.  Its pretty funny, but not that funny when she is in the middle of a street or busy sidewalk or its wet and muddy outside.  Thankfully here she is just in front of the basilica!



  1. Ohh the Vatican and that crazy Sistine ceiling. Our major dark cloud over rome. Aside from OUR hotel experience was that we both got a stomach virus. But since we were in Rome we decided we had to suck it up and go the Vatican. We made it through St. Peters pretty ok, and just wanted to "pop in" and see the Sistine Chapel. OHH MY GOODNESS!! We had no idea it was a maze of 6 million rooms, millions of people, and almost no where to sit down. We nearly died, barely making our way from bench to bench until we saw the ceiling, ran outside and grabbed a cab to our hotel which was no more than 2.5 blocks from the Vatican!

    The really good news is, these "bad" experiences become really entertaining to re-tell the further you are from them!

  2. Kind of like in Florence when we put a 20 Euro bill in a change machine, only to get back 20 Euro worth of LAUNDRY COINS! So funny now :)

  3. Haha, yes! I forgot to include that. We kept following the sign for "Sistine Chapel" and kept thinking it would be just around the next corner! The Vatican should really consider putting a distance next to those signs.


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