Wow what a day. Started the day with the round trip on the hop on/off bus to get our bearings and a snapshot of Rome. So much to see with so little time. I am already considering what I need to see next time I come back. We then went for a bit of a walk around the Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo, this is a towering cylindrical building or fortress. We have discovered that many sights in Italy are closed on Mondays and unfortunately this was one of them we will try and get back to it tomorrow.
We headed back towards the apartment, finding lunch at an outdoor cafe on the way. While we were lunching we got caught in a rain squall. The weather has been very stormy. It has been a bit like Dorrigo (minus the fog of course).
We were booked for a tour of the Vatican museums in the afternoon, so back to the apartment for a quick change into appropriate clothing (the Vatican has a dress code) and off we went. Was very glad to have booked a tour as the queue was around the block. We booked our tour with a group called walks of Italy. It is small group and there were only 11 people on our tour. I would recommend them if you are here. Dylan found the crowds a bit daunting but quite enjoyed the paintings and studied the Raphael rooms fairly closely. I was particularly impressed with these too and the paintings are easy to study closely as the rooms are not that large. Whereas the Sistine chapel was crowded and relatively dark and the ceiling very high so I felt like I needed binoculars to pick up the detail. Very impressive all the same. I was amused that they pack a heap of people into the room then try to instill the holiness of the place by telling everyone to be quiet in a booming voice over the PA in italian. It kind of killed the mood.
Here are some pics from the ceiling of one of the rooms,I should know the name but it has gone as brain is in overload, it impressed me because it looked like it was in relief but was actually flat painting to look like it had depth. That is a poorly explained artistic explanation (sorry Hogie)
And these are from the Raphael rooms.
After we left the chapel we went into St. Peter's, which is without a doubt the most impressive church ever. Well it was for me anyway (my church experiences are pretty much limited to weddings and funerals at st Stephens in Dorrigo, so it didn't take much!) Aden's take on the day was that it wasn't as boring as he expected it may be, and Dylan's was that the pictures were good but the were too many people I suppose that is a win. I know one day they will look back with better appreciation of what they have seen, surely!
Feeling very weary we went back to the apartment with the obligatory gelato on the way.