Alex Roque

Writer By Night

Wandering Wednesday – Rome! [Part 1]

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“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.” — Samuel Johnson

Oh man, here we go. Rome. The end of our cruise. But not the end of our vacation! We stayed a few extra days in Rome, and it was definitely needed. I imagine if we had stayed another day, we could have spread everything out better. By the time we left Rome, we were beyond exhausted, but it was worth it!

Today I wanted to share pictures from our visit to St. Peter’s Basilica  in Vatican City.

Vatican City is. . . smaller than I thought it would be! It’s really interesting how it is laid out among the city streets. But it is the smallest independent state in the world!

On a weird crazy personal note, if high school or early college me had known one day I would be here, she would have lost it. I had dreams of visiting with my church when I was deeply involved in the Catholic church. So crazy, where I am now with my beliefs, and getting to stand here. Probably only bizarre to myself, but oh well!

St. Peter’s Basilica doesn’t look as big as it does once inside. It’s actually one of the largest churches of the world, but the depth of its size is unreal. It is said to be the final resting place of Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles.

Stepping into Vatican City

Stepping into Vatican City

Once entering the city, there are no cars. There isn’t a need for them.

Cruise 2012 1284

Once at the entrance of the church, the size of it starts to be realized.

Looking up before going through the entrance

Looking up before going through the entrance

The inside of this place is massive. Literally. My mind was blown away. Though at times I did think it was a bit…much. But it was still amazing to walk through.

Looking down the center of the church

Looking down the center of the church

Our group was escorted to the right for a chance to glimpse Michaelangelo’s Pieta. It sits behind bullet proof glass, and the crowd in front was crammed in. This is one of the better pictures I took.

Michaelangelo's Pieta

Michaelangelo’s Pieta

One of the amazing things we saw is that there were no paintings in the basilica. Only mosaics. But from far away, it was hard to tell the difference.

Not a painting!

Not a painting!

The dome in the center is gorgeous and huge. The letters are [according to our tour guide] 6ft tall.

The dome!

The dome!

At the center is the altar which supposedly sits over the tomb of St. Peter.

The altar with a baldacchino designed by Bernini

The altar with a baldacchino designed by Bernini

Close up

Close up

One of the interesting architectural things about this place was the Holy Door. This is a door that is traditionally walled up and only opened for holy years. Something like a Jubilee celebration for a pope.

The Holy Door

The Holy Door

Leaving the basilica we took a look to see that the square was always set up for mass blessings from the Pope on Wednesdays.

A view of the seats in the square

So that’s Peter Basilica! Unfortunately this is the last post about Rome for the year, so it’s a tease! We leave for Germany on Sunday, so I hope to post some quick updates while we are on our trip. I am only half hoping for snow so I can snag some great pics for you guys. :)

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