The Vatican City State is an independent city-state within Rome, Italy and the seat of the Roman Catholic church. Inside this walled city-state contains some of the most magnificent art in the world.
St. Peter’s Basilica is our first stop. But before we could enter St. Peter’s, we had to go through a security system, similar to one used in the airports with the scanners. This was implemented after 9/11.
St. Peter’s is huge. It’s the largest basilica in the world. There’s actually a list of the largest basilica’s listed on the floor of St. Peter’s near the centre of the middle aisle. The facade is 116 m wide, 53 m high and topped by 13 statues which includes the apostles and John the Baptist.
The second photo is detail of inside St. Peter’s near the door. If you’re looking at the altar, that nave is to your left.
Across from the nave on the other side is one of the masterpieces of St. Peter’s – Michelangelo’s Pieta (photo courtesy of J.Tomlin). St. Peter’s was packed that day and it doesn’t help being short as you don’t get a good vantage point so I’m thankful to Jim for his photo. The Pieta was created in 1499 when Michelangelo was only 25. Many didn’t believe it was carved by such a young artist, so he carved his name on Mary’s robe. This is the only piece of sculpture he created on which he signed his name.
Another can’t miss is Michelangelo’s dome which is above Bernini’s Baldachin which is a canopy over the Papal Altar which is located above St. Peter’s crypt… got all that? Just take a look at the photo below! You can also climb the dome – all 537 steps!
Upon our return to Toronto, I started reading Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. This book sat on my shelf for years. It was fascinating and enjoyable read. Just wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it. I think I missed my calling… I should have continued my studies on Italian culture and civilization!