Oh, wow. That is fantastic. I had half a post’s worth of material and WordPress wiped everything out. I don’t mind the pictures but all my at-the-moment witty remarks are gone forever. 😦 Let’s try this again.
We only got 5 hours of sleep but it had to be done if we wanted to arrive on time for our Vatican tour the following morning. We promptly woke up @ 7, had a bite to eat and grabbed a taxi to drop us off into Vatican city’s holiest of walls. Oh yes, this is also the morning I was attacked by a sneezing fit. After 8 sneezes in a row, my eyes were puffy, tears were leaking and my nose was dripping down my upper lip. Gross. I know. This is the cold/flu that kept me company for the entirety of our honeymoon.
My first croissant in Italy. It was divine. I wish I had more compelling adjectives in my mental thesaurus than a mere ‘amazing!’ or a ‘delicious!’. The tastes, smells and textures that I experienced in Italy warrant more verbose clarifications than what I can accommodate. My apologies. 😛
Paul preferred Costco’s croissants. He said it was too soft and wasn’t flaky enough – I beg to differ! This croissant was soft, very buttery and had a hint of orange. I normally dislike orange in my pastries but this made me a believer.
While I enjoyed an espresso, a fruit cup and half a croissant, Paul ordered scrambled eggs and bacon. Judging from the looks of it, you can tell he was disappointed with his choice. I kept telling him to order coffee and a croissant but he wouldn’t listen. I spied many customers coming in and quickly downing a small cup of espresso with a croissant or another form of baked good. Then they were quickly out the door and on their way. This hurried way of eating breakfast seems to be a common thing in Italy. Even when we were at a cafe at the train station, everyone was drinking their small cups of coffee and eating some baked good while standing by the counter.
My boss who is Italian and lives in Florence says that breakfast isn’t a huge deal for Italians. Some just skip breakfast all together since most Italians start their day later in the day and end later. As an American and a Korean, I am used to sitting down for breakfast and for any other meal. Even if it’s a simple bowl of cereal and juice, I would eat it sitting down at a table. It was fun to watch and do as the Romans do! 🙂
Gearing up near the steps of the Vatican museum. I always thought those things translated what the guides were saying but it’s actually a machine that simply amplifies what the tour guide is saying since it gets very crowded and noisy during the tour.
St. Peter’s Basilica. This has to be my utmost favorite site/sight in Rome. There is nothing like this. I was and still am completely enamored by this structure. I think I can lose myself in there. The moment I stepped into this basilica, I had one of those rare moments where I felt absolutely unimportant. I saw and felt something that was very much bigger than myself. I was raised Catholic and even though I haven’t been a practicing Catholic for a long time now, this basilica struck a chord in me that I cannot describe in words. I am grateful for this feeling that continues to resonate with me now.
The dome. Pictures truly do not capture the enormity of this place. Each letter you see up there is 6 feet tall. Paul and I seriously just stood there and stared. We could not believe how enormous this dome/building was. We were in utter disbelief.
Sphere Within A Sphere by Arnaldo Pomodoro. The artist gave this piece to the Vatican church as a gift. The inner sphere symbolizes the Earth and the outer sphere as Christianity. Impressive and mind-blowing to say the least.
Now these following pictures were taken from the Vatican museums themselves. We were not allowed to take any pictures in the Sistine Chapel because all of the paintings were restored by a Japanese television company a few decades ago; they solely own the copyright to all images taken since it cost almost 5 million dollars to restore. I found it maddening and absurd to watch a good amount of people still taking pictures. I found that disrespectful and UNLAWFUL.
Our tour guide shared many insightful stories about Michelangelo and Raphael. They were known rivals and Raphael was working on this piece in the Vatican while Michelangelo was working on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo was keeping his work under wraps but Raphael somehow stole the keys to the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s work. Raphael admired his work and decided to include Michelangelo in his painting. That poor sad sap wearing boots is Michelangelo. It is said that Michelangelo led a very depressing life with no women and barely bathed; hence, the boots to mask his stinky feet.
More to come in Part 2! 🙂