Trip: Day 9 (Rome)

Today was the impossible: see Rome in one day. I guess if you are going to see anything at all in Rome, the #1 would be the Sistine Chapel (as well as the Vatican Museum, and just the Vatican overall). So when we got off the bus this morning, we proceeded directly to the Vatican to get in line. And when we got there, the line was at least two hours (or more) long. It was ridiculous. I think something like 30,000 people see the Sistine Chapel EVERY DAY. And most of them were in line. So we are looming around, looking at the line and this woman comes up to us and is like, "I have a tour guide near the front of the line, you can pay 37 euros to wait in line with her and get a great tour." So we did it. We skipped more than half the line (which subtracted AT LEAST one hour off the wait, probably more...we couldn't even see where the end of the line was). She bought our tickets for us=we didn't need to wait in ticket lines...We had to wait about an hour total, but after that we got a guided tour of the major sites in the Vatican Museum...and omg... ITS AMAZING. You must go here if you ever go to Rome. Every room you walk into is chock full of tons and tons and tons of art EVERYWHERE. Apparently, the Vatican Museum is the largest museum in the world in terms of amount of stuff..and I believe it. Our guide covered the most major items (the School of Athens, some major sculptures, the Sistine Chapel...duh) but we breezed through soooo many rooms with hardly even a glance...and we hardly saw any of the rooms. This place is INSANE. And of course its all worth it to see the Sistine Chapel if nothing else. While studying the panels a piece of paper may be more effective (since the art is so high up) its amazing to walk in the chapel and just be completely washed over with amazingness. There is just so much life everywhere you look in the chapel. We got to look for ten minutes, and that was hardly enough to see it. As we walked out I kept looking around the corner, trying to get my last looks in. Who knows if I will ever be able to see it again. I am so happy that I was able to see it at least once. {sigh} After the Chapel and Museum we wandered over to the Basilica where one of the most famous/important pieces of art is: The Pieta. It is very far back and covered in glass (since a crazy tourist ran up to it with a hammer a while back and chopped off the virgin Mary's nose which has since been replaced). The sheer size of the Basilica is amazing. I never thought I would see a church that large. They were really trying to intimidate with size. On the way out in the public square they had all the chairs set up for the Pope's regular public appearance. It was strange to see a place that I seen so many times on TV! Its MUCH bigger in person (duh) and just as intimidating as the rest of the Vatican. Ridiculous. The rest of the Rome trip was Rome on speed. We tried to catch some major sights on the way back to the bus: The Pantheon (which was closed) and the Spanish Steps. It was raining very heavily and we were soaked and some people were getting mad etc...but I am happy to have glimpsed these sites at the very least. I got to climb the Spanish Steps (no pictures were taken because of the heavy rain)... I think that Rome is my favorite stop of the trip so far...Definitely the most artistically important. however tomorrow will challenge it. We dock in Livorno and will be taking a bus to Florence where we have reservations at the Uffizi Gallery. In art history the Uffizi was the default answer for works that we weren't sure which museum they were from...so basically, they have everything. OMG...I'm sooo excited. PS> Thank you to Lucy Durkin for getting me really excited about seeing all this art. If it weren't for her class, I probably wouldn't have cared much. To everyone who reads this blog: give me your address for postcards...I don't care if I hardly know you; I have a ton of them. Just email me your address and get a postcard from Europe! I hope everyone is having a fabulous time at home!! Miss you all!

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