Italia: Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowship


Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Vatican and all those stairs

January 23rd:Today was the big tour of the Vatican which has been a sovereign state since 1929. It is obviously ruled by the pope who is Europe's only absolute monach. The city even has its own radio station, daily newspaper and post office. We couldn't believe our eyes as the line for entry went on and on for blocks an blocks. Stafano said it wasn't really that big a queue at all. I also learnt that one visit is not nearly enough to appreciate the full value of all the collection. Stefano armed us all with earphones and a transmitting device which we eventually sorted out. The Galleria degli Arazzi (Tapestry Gallery) was probably one of my favourites and was also heated to keep the tapestries in good nick I imagine. It also served to thaw out my frozen toes. I also enjoyed the Map Gallery. Photos could be taken in these areas without a flash. The Sistine Chapel was awe inspiring and the guards were kept very busy saying repeatedly, "No photo!", "Shhhhhhh" as some people even tried to use their mobile phones to snap the famous frescoes. Stefano had explained in detail a lot about the works of Michaelangelo before we entered the chapel. Replicas of the main frescoes were available for perusual in the main courtyard area on large steel posters and we braved the freezing temperatures as we listened to the explanations. I must say that for a man who never considered himself a painter he certainly excelled himself! The chapel is used by cardinals when electing a new pope.

After the guided tour finished quite a few of us decided to climb the cupola without using the lift(ascensore) which goes a certain way up. It was freezing at the top but there were a few good views and photos to be had. It was a much more demanding climb than the Leaning Tower of Pisa by far. Coming down was much more fun. I had lunch with Deb, Carmelina, Rosanna, Rosemary and Liz at a lovely little eatery where Liz and her husband had been a year before. The food was extremely well-priced and we could sit down and enjoy our coffee and sandwiches(which were huge).


At 4:54 PM, Anonymous bart said...

Very nice phots!

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous bart said...

Very nice phots!


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