After a long trip, we finally arrived at this date, May 11th. The last day of the trip! With thousands of miles traveled and various types of transportation used, my feelings towards this day were bittersweet. While enjoying every bit of London, Paris, Rome, and now the Vatican, I still miss home and cannot wait to see American land tomorrow!
The day started off with a bit of transportation trouble. Our charter bus that was supposed to pick us up from the hotel at 8 a.m was broke down. But luckily, Richard our tour guide, did some quick thinking and found that the metro could take us to Vatican City. So after a bit of a delay, we arrived at the Vatican a little after 9 a.m.
Once arriving at the Vatican, one could tell that it was a heavily visited place. Our tour guide explained to us that over 20,000 people visit there every day! That's about ten times as many people as Canton, crazy! We rushed into the Vatican Museum and made our way to the Sistine Chapel. On the way to the Chapel, we passed through many different rooms that contained different types of artwork. Words cannot describe how incredible some of the artwork was. Roman sculptures, paintings, and tapestries made up the majority of the art. Some of the tapestries looked almost three dimensional in how they were woven, an art form that has actually been lost throughout the ages. But after about an hour of observing ancient art, we came to the Sistine Chapel.
Inside the Sistine Chapel was Michael Angelo's greatest pieces of art. "The Day of Judgement" was my favorite piece of work in the Chapel. It covered this massive wall behind the alter and contained over 300 individual people on it. Every detail was crystal clear and it was something that had to be seen to be fully appreciated. After the Sistine Chapel, we made our way out into St. Peter's Square to visit St. Peter's Basilica.
St. Peter's Basilica is the largest church in the world. It is called a Basilica because of it's historical importance to the Vatican and since it is the Church of the Pope. Various sculptures, tombs and paintings of former Popes were among some of the sights of the Church. It was equally as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel. Once again, words cannot describe how massive and how beautiful the Basilica was. St. Peter's is also known as the Pope's Church.
When we left the Basilica, we walked out into St. Peter's square. Out in the square we met and talked about our tour and then went out to lunch. Eugene Carter, Adam Lee, and myself decided on some true Italian Pizza for lunch and it was truly magnifico!
In the afternoon, we decided to go a bit deeper into Rome and visit a park. The park we went to was absolutely amazing and had a breath taking view. You could see all of Rome from this park! After taking in the view and many jumping pictures, we went on to a small town square just a few blocks away. Here at the town square, we did our last souvenir shopping, ate our last Italian meal and our last gelato dessert.
The main piece of knowledge I took from the Vatican City was the significance of the Catholic religion in Europe. While in America, Catholicism isn't as big. Our tour guide had said that Sundays in the Vatican were just impossible days to visit on because of all the Catholic visitors for Mass. Also, I found an appreciation for the amount of work put in to build these amazing religious facilities. These buildings are incredible sights to see and the era that they were built in makes it hard to fathom that humans were able to achieve this without modern day tools.
Tomorrow, we will be getting on a flight at 11:30 from Rome to Chicago. After O'Hare we will have a short flight to St. Louis and then ride in a charter bus back to Canton, arriving at 10:30 p.m! I am looking forward to seeing all of you back on campus and telling you more about our Capitals of Europe trip! See you soon C-SC!