Rome: Giorno Due

Saturday was for the Vatican. We arrived little after 9 a.m. and booked it straight to the Cistine Chapel. Sadly, no photography was allowed (although several people were sneaking shots), but the color was vibrant after its recent restoration. From there we walked the long halls of the Vatican Library (all the books are in cabinets though) before retracing our steps back through the museum. We saw tons of statues, the Egyptian collection, the medieval collection, the Etruscan collection, and others before taking a quick lunch break at the Vatican cafeteria. We realized we missed the Raphael rooms but weren’t up to walking through the museums again. 😛

Vatican Library.
Egyptian statue.

Around the other side is St. Peter’s Basilika. It has a huge plaza surrounded by a circular colonnade. The timing was perfect with light streaming in through all the windows with amazing clarity. It is huge! We opted for the dome instead of the crypt, which Rie was not too fond of. We did pay to take the elevator partway but had to walk the stairs the last third. We went up ramps, cramped back and forth stairs, tight narrow angled stairs (the dome was closing in!), and supremely tight spiral “staircase” with only a rope down the middle to hold on to. The view was worth it. 😀

St. Peters Basilika.

Once back down, we had some gelato on the road that connects the basilika with Castel Sant’Angelo. The castle was, I think, the biggest let down of the trip. It had a modern art exhibit full of junk, and nothing about the castle itself. It was right on the river, but otherwise not interesting (at least to me).

Iron angel.

We decided to get a sneak peak of the colosseum at night, but when we arrived, we found ourselves in the midst of a huge protest! Scary!! We booked it and hid in a restaurant (overpriced) until the coast was clear before going back for photos and gelato. Gelato! Yummy. 😀