Touring Rome and the Vatican Museum

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I realized that I had never shared our tour of the Vatican Museum from last year on my blog yet, so to capture what was one of the best vacations of my life I decided to recap a little.  Our first day arriving in Rome, Italy was exhausting. There is a 9 hour time difference on top of 12 hours of being on a plane to arrive in Rome from Arizona. Virtually no sleep on a plane I wound up watching 2 movies and read some of Dune: House Corrino novel on the plane instead.

When we arrived in Rome we took a taxi to our Cicerone hotel which was just a few mere blocks from Vatican city. We arrived at around 10am and my wife and I knew we had to get on a tour of the vatican museum that same day or else we may not get to see it. The following day was our cruise and we wouldn’t be in Rome until the last day of our journey where we only had enough time to see the Coloseum.

While in Rome we had lunch at Portofino Cafe which was amazing, my wife couldn’t stop praising the Latte which always came out at the perfect temperature and flavor while chiding Starbucks for making their latte too hot when first served.

The people were mostly a mix of tourists with some local Romans, nearly one in 10 people had a small to mid sized dog on a leash that sound down beside them and the fresh produce stands filled the air with fragrant scents of basil and canteloupe.

Our tour of the Vatican Museum commenced at around 2:00pm where we couldn’t believe just how massive the art collection was. At over 70,000 pieces you felt so rushed in a 3.5 hour tour and just couldn’t spend enough time looking at all the artwork. I had almost used up 1/2 of all the pictures available in my camera just trying to capture as many pieces at the museum as possible.

This is partly why I decided to make a video recording and do a little narration to convey just how incredible seeing the Vatican museum is in person:

The ceilings draw your eye and you just can’t imagine how artists such as Rafael worked for years bent over on ladders painting such magnificent works. The size and scope of the long painted ceiling is almost impossible to believe and gain a sense for without seeing it in person. The Sistene Chapel itself prohibited all picture and video of any kind so I was unable to get images of the artwork from within.

The walls of tapestries also are so old that they prohibit photo’s as the light could damage the inks and tapestries themselves from the flash. I tried taking some photo’s without flash but the images didn’t come out but it is simply amazing seeing 10′ high woven tapestries of such ancient art.

Here is the gallery of the Vatican museum artwork and tour I put together:

More sculptures, jewelry, paintings than you can absorb in a single day I was convinced that to truly enjoy seeing everything at the Vatican museum you would need at least 2-3 days and spend a good 6 hours each day just looking at the incredible artwork all around you.

You literally are seeing history in art and feel closer to something grander and greater than us all here.

-Justin Germino

Updated: March 25, 2012 — 10:02 pm