My Catholic Pilgrimage

I'm Catholic(ish). I was raised VERY catholic; church every Sunday, first communion, confession, Sunday school, observed lent (even the whole abstain from meat on Fridays part), christian summer camps, conformation, est. Now? Meh, not so much, BUT how could I come to Rome and NOT go to the Vatican?! During HOLY WEEK??? The Catholic guilt would be too much.

With Grayson in tow and D's aversion to big crowds (it's weird Howard thing *COUGH* Carrie *COUGH*), we opted for the early entrance (7:15am) with breakfast. Post breakfast we were set free in the museums an hour early before the general public, so we dashed for the Sistine Chapel to avoid the crowds. It was awe inspiring. Stunning. Mind-blowing to think that it was painted in 4-years, by an inexperienced painter who was known for his sculptures. In summary, after spending all day at the Vatican, what I learned was the Vatican kicks ass at ceiling art.

To be fair, the Church has never been known to be .... modest

This was by far my favorite room. The maps room. The ceiling was exquisite and the regional paintings
of Italy from 1580 were insanely detailed.

Then there was The Papal Basilica of St. Peter. It was powerful to see the holiest of temples for my religion. One that I've heard about a million times and read about endlessly. We were so lucky to go in through the museums as the line outside of the Basilica wrapped around St. Peter's square then some. If I had to guess, it was probably around a 3 hr wait to get into the church. Since it was in the afternoon during holy week, a large section of the church was blocked as they were setting up for mass. :(



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