Sunday, December 19, 2010


The next day, November 3rd,I decided to go to the Vatican, the world's smallest state - no larger than a few acers. It was a Wednesday and I was told the Pope addresses the crowds every Wednesday, a tradition called the Papal Audience. Unfortunately I think I got there too late and the audience was over.

To avoid ridiculously long lines into the Vatican Museum buy your tickets online here:

I got lucky. For whatever reason when I went there was no line at all. I was able to just walk right through in no time. There's a security screening, and then I bought my ticket with my student ID, the audio guide since I know nothing about art and I was off. The Vatican Museum is one of the great museums of the world. It boasts and impressive art collection and some archeological artifacts from Ancient Egypt. It's amazing how old some of these items are. Of course the main attraction is the Sistine Chapel with the paintings of Michaelangelo on the ceiling. It's the last stop in the museum but I found out later that a lot of people race to the chapel first, then tour the museum and revisit the chapel again at the end. I spent a lot of time just sitting and staring at the art on the ceiling. I was mostly listening to the audio guide as I don't know anything. I was surprised to find that Michaelangelo wasn't just an artist (he was more a sculptor than a painter) but also a theologian. His art work in the chapel reflects his deep understanding of the Bible and how to get the Bible stories across in his paintings. Is this true? I don't know for sure but the audio guide did say that. Then again, the guide is from the Catholic Church and I would assume that would want this to be case true or not. Still I am inclined to believe it is true.

Map of the Vatican.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Basilica - the chairs outside are for the Papal Audience which I missed.

Silly looking guards.

Dress code to enter St. Peter's Basilica

More silly guards.

Audio guide Map of St. Peter's Basilica

Silly looking guards

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

A list of all the Popes.

A beggar on the way to the Vatican Musuem.

Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museum. I was lucky, there was no line when I go there. I just walked right through.
My museum ticket.
Audio map of the Vatican Museum.
Woman from Thebes 960-945 BC
Antinous Osiris 130-138 BC
The god Anubis - Roman Imperial Period 1-2 AD
Head of a statue of Mentuhotep II - 2010-1998 BC
Baboon was sacred to god Thot 1300-1250 BC
Queen Arsinoes II 285-246 BC
Female clay statuette from Southern Anatolia. This is Neolithic pottery from 5600 BC. This lady statue is pretty hot huh?

A breastfeeding statue? okay....

Silenus with the child Dionysus - this is a Roman copy from the 2nd century
Look at this statue of a lady
This is a close up of her foot. Look at the detail and how exact it is. I find this level of attention to detail so amazing. No, I don't have a foot fetish.

Emperor Titus

Vatican Museum Courtyard

The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. No pictures are allowed of the Sistine Chapel so I took picture of these instead.
The Last Judgement. No pictures are allowed of the Sistine Chapel so I took picture of these instead.

The Sistine Chapel. No pictures are allowed of the Sistine Chapel so I took picture of these instead.

In the Room of Signature; contains Rafael's most famous frescos:

Look, it's the star of david

Drinking water from this fountain gave me the runs.

The vatican has its own post office. It's pretty small but here it is.

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