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The Vatican City

Musei Vaticani ticket front

Musei Vaticani ticket front

Musei Vaticani ticket back

Musei Vaticani ticket back

Two Jews go to the heart of Catholicism, the wealth of the ages settled in one place. Aviva said that its much more organized than when she and her mother, Lily, visited Roma about three years ago. We walked through a number of rooms. The most interesting was probably the map room, which is a room whose walls are painted in maps of the time; a person selling souvenirs outside the map room gave Aviva one of his bottles of water to drink, which was very nice. We climbed a number of stairs and turned into a room which I first though must be a waiting room before the Sistine Chapel since that’s how I figured the Vatican officials would control the number of people viewing the masterpiece at one time; I also figured there would be some sign that says, “Next up, the Sistine Chapel”. But, I looked up and realized that we were indeed inside the Chapel! People say that the ceiling is too high and so you can’t see the work of Michelangelo, but I don’t agree at all; Michelangelo obviously painted his figures to be seen from the distance to the floor. The frescoes are bright and provoke a strong emotional response. The Last Judgement on the wall next to the entry into the Chapel is one of my favorite works from Michelangelo and I’m glad I got to see it. Michelangelo didn’t know how to paint al fresco when he started the Chapel – he hired two assistants to teach him and, once he understood the process, fired them so they wouldn’t know what he was painting! We had a snack in the cafeteria (they have one now) and then saw St. Peter’s, which is also awesome. And, we mailed postcards from the Vatican City post office inside the museum (unless you’re staying in three star or better accommodations, you will probably find it easier to handle mail from the Vatican City rather than dealing with the Italian post office, and have less risk that the cards will be lost in the mail).

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