Visiting Vatican City was one of the highlights of the trip. It's so impressive, you can't help but feel awed by the architecture and history.
St. Peter's Bascialla was built on top of the tomb of St. Peter, and it's magnificent.
The courtyard is surrounded by statues of 140 Catholic Saints.
On top of the entrance to the Basilica, you find Christ himself, flanked on one side by John the Baptist and Andrew on the other.
In front of the Basilica are two giant statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. Peter holds the keys to the kingdom, while Paul, here, holds a sword and a book with the inscription, "I can do all things in him who strengthens me."
Inside the Basilica are hundreds of paintings and sculptures...this one, the Pieta, by Michaelanglo is particularly moving.
I fell in love with the stain glass in the Vatican. The dove features prominently in much of the art work, and this beautiful window in the main alcove of the Basilica is just incredible.
We were able to tour the Vatican museums and see the Sistine Chapel as well. The Sistine Chapel itself was the only place that we were unable to take photos, but you get the idea of the detailed ceiling work in this hallway.
The paintings are masterful. This photo does not do this justice....
And everywhere you go, the floors are covered in the most amazing mosaics.
Of all the things we were able to see in our Vatican visit, I was most inspired by the devotion of the believers. There were nuns, priests, monks, etc. from all over the world. I saw one priest from Texas wearing his not only his priestly garb, but also cowboy boots and a ten gallon hat.
There were many who stopped to offer prayer, dip a finger in the holy water, or even rub the feet of the bronze statue of St. Peter. It was faith affirming to see so many devoted doing what they believe.
And...of course...I couldn't end without a comment about the dress code.
You cannot enter the Basilica if you are sleeveless or in shorts. Fortunately for me, I was able to bring a wrap and cover up in order to go inside...and for those who had forgotten, you could always purchase paper wraps to cover yourself.
Um...yeah. I did say they were paper, right. : O
I felt badly for the poor fellows at the entrances who had to be the clothing police and turn away those who were not dressed properly. That cannot be a fun job.
Rome was wonderful. I can't wait to go back!