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Friday, April 19, 2013

Visiting the Vatican

As a life long Catholic, one of the places I absolutely had to visit while in Rome was the Vatican.  The Vatican itself is gorgeous.  It's huge, it's overwhelming, it's a "must see" kind of place.  My only regret during this portion of the trip is that I wore fashionable sandals instead of comfortable walking shoes at this time.  Never again.  The next time I go to Italy, tennis shoes will be the only shoes I take with me.
Not to worry - I ended up buying some New Balance tennis shoes while shopping in Naples.  What a relief to my poor aching feet!

Anyway, while at the Vatican, one of the highlights of this tour was being able to visit the tomb of Pope John Paul II.  I've adored this man for a long time and was very sad when he passed away.  This is an image of the area where his tomb lies at the Vatican.  A very large picture of St. Sebastian is displayed over the grave.

Other things I found interesting on display at the Vatican was the display of rings from past Popes and the sarcophagus' of Popes from days long past (located in the Vatican Grottoes).

And, of course, there is so much beautiful artwork and statuary to be seen everywhere in the Vatican.  Here are some of the statues that stood out to me:

And let's not forget the winding stairs:
When exiting the Vatican tours, we passed a wonderful little gift shop run by a group of nuns.  They sell all sorts of unique jewelry, tapestries, statues and other collectible and souvenir items.  We purchased several items during our visit.
Outside of the Vatican, there are tons (and I mean tons) of vendors hawking their goods and touristy-style items.  Many of the items are cheap, made-in-Asia items that you can find anywhere in most souvenir shops in Rome.  However, there was a nifty little magnet of David I just couldn't resist; it is now hanging proudly on my refrigerator door:
 Next up:  Our visit to the little town of Mugnano de Cardinale where we visited the Shrine of St. Philomena, and Naples.  Stay tuned...

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