Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Vatican

We were excited to make it into the Vatican Museum.   Our metro had a busker on it this time who, along with playing his pipes and guitar sang in Spanish.  I was surprised at how much I appreciated hearing him sing in Spanish, it was such a relief to be able to understand at least a little bit.  After the metro ride we took the 10 minute walk to the museum entrance only to find out that for some reason it was closed that day.  So we consoled ourselves with some gelato and made our way over to the Priscilla catacombs instead.  

The catacombs date back to about 200 AD and are fascinating.  We were not allowed to take any pictures inside, just this one (above) outside the entrance, but there were over 10km of tunnels 3 levels deep underground and stacked floor to ceiling with graves.  Some of the wealthier families had a fancier set up.  Sometimes it even included paintings in a little underground chapel type setting.  Down there our guide showed us the oldest know depiction of the Madonna, a painting above a tomb of the Mother Mary and the Christ Child from about 237 AD.  

The next day we tried the Vatican again.  Success!  We got the kid audio guide for the kids.  Success! It was extremely engaging and walked us right through the whole museum.  They loved hearing all the insight and info in English.  

More from Max on these statues later, but the one he's standing by was struck by lighting so they thought it was good luck.  Also, one of the popes had a the idea that many of the statues should be a little more modest and put artist to work adding leaves to all sorts of works of art.

Jonah gaining a little art appreciation.  "Dad, THAT is a BIG toe!"
How Bernini constructed an Angel.

It's a real mummy!  Fingernails and the whole bit!  Meanwhile outside it was gorgeous!  I liked how they opened up many of the windows in throughout the museum to let in the fresh air.

I have a special place in my heart for
mosaics and Max, both incredible!

Done with the Vatican looking back towards  St. Peter's Basilica.
Hooray!  a little room to RUN!

After the museums we headed over to St Peter's Basilica.  Tessa had done a research report on Michelangelo as we prepared for our time in Italy and couldn't wait to see the Pieta.  It does not disappoint.  It is breathtaking!  The kids also enjoyed rubbing St. Peter's big toe, it's supposed to bring good luck, and I can tell you his poor toe has been rubbed smooth.  It is amazing to think of how many people have done little rub after little rub to take his toe from sculptured to indiscernible.  

Michaelangelo was only 24 years old when
he sculpted this and it took him less than 2
years.  Gifted.  

Peter and his lucky toe.

Eli looks at the menu every time, but he always
chooses Spaghetti.  

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