Thursday, April 21, 2011

Michael Dickerson - Rome, Italy. April 3-5 - Vatican City

(Photos by Liz Weeden)

I was raised a Catholic, but I’m a special kind of Catholic. I’m what you call a holiday Catholic. I go to mass on Christmas and Easter. Nevertheless I was extremely excited to go to Vatican City. The Vatican is just oozing with history; the treasures in there cannot be matched. As we drove up to the Vatican Museums we noticed that there were no lines! NO LINES AT ALL!

We perched the vans and then everyone jumped out like we were in the army on a mission. We stormed into the museum and then the day just got better. After we got our tickets I found out that the Vatican, out of the goodness of their heart, was going to give me a wheelchair. HALLELUJAH! It seemed as if the Vatican was trying to make all my dreams come true. I was able to see most of the Vatican while being pushed in a wheelchair; I got to enjoy the beauty in the comfort of my own wheelchair. Each room seemed to have more and more priceless art. As we neared the Sistine Chapel the hallways became thinner, building the suspense. Finally we entered the chapel, and it lived up to all the hype. How Michelangelo managed to paint all that is just amazing. The ceiling showed the books of Genesis. The cool thing about it was that the angels almost looked like they were painted in 3-D. They looked like they were actually jumping out of the ceiling. On the far wall was Michelangelo’s depiction of The Last Judgment - a cool fact about Michelangelo was that he depicted a cardinal that he didn’t like as the devil.

The only thing wrong with the Sistine Chapel were the professional shushers. There were actually guards at the chapel whose only job was to shush. Now I don’t want to be rude, but if your job is to be a shusher then at some point in your life you did something wrong. But hey I guess if you work in the Vatican you almost have to be guaranteed a spot in heaven, or at least on the waiting list.

After leaving the museums Amber, Hannah and I walked over to Saint Peters Basilica. Once we arrived we saw, much to our displeasure that there were lines! How could this happen? But I had one more ace up my sleeve, my fractured foot. After talking to some nice guards, we were able to bypass every person in line. Upon entering the Basilica I just stopped dead in my tracks. It was the most beautiful, grand, amazing church I have ever seen. How anyone could even conceive to build this is beyond my wildest dreams. The high ceilings were able to let in just enough light to let you know that you were in a sacred place of worship.

The Vatican is a once in a lifetime experience. Whether a Christian or not, The Vatican is a worthwhile experience for everyone, especially history and art enthusiasts.

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