Everyone had a good night’s sleep last night. In the morning Eloise was quick to kick poor Lachlan out of his cot.
We are staying about 45 minutes South of the city centre. We jumped back on the trains and headed an hour North. Lachlan had a playdate with the Pope, we were heading to the Vatican City. All the trains in Rome are massive, it must be ramping up for the peak summer tourist season. On the way in all the Italian nonnas are big fans of the kiddies. Eloise is a bit creeped out by them invading her personal bubble. Lachnado on the other hand, the social butterfly, will yabber with anyone within earshot.
It was another hot day, to make matters worse Liam had to squeeze into chinos as we all had to wear Vatican City appropriate clothing. Eloise was upset when we rendezvoused with our entry group because she did not get a sticker. Thankfully the lovely Italian man drew Eloise her own special sticker, which kept her happy all morning.
As we approached the Vatican City, it certainly felt like we were in the tourist capital of the world. There was a lot of hustling and bustling.
Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State is an independent city-state and enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy. The Vatican City State, also known simply as the Vatican, became independent from Italy with the Lateran Treaty (1929), and it is a distinct territory under “full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction” of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity of international law, which maintains the city state’s temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence. With an area of 49 hectares (121 acres) and a population of about 453, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population. As governed by the Holy See, the Vatican City State is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state (a type of theocracy) ruled by the pope who is the bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. After the Avignon Papacy (1309–1377) the popes have mainly resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City, although at times residing instead in the Quirinal Palace in Rome or elsewhere.
We started at the Vatican City Museum. The kids were excited but Eloise was starting to get concerned there would not be buttons to press.
The Vatican City Museum had large solid rooms that echoed, Lachnado let it rip!
The museum was packed with a large collection of paintings, sculptures, tapestry, and everything that is old. Like really really old.
We went outside for some fresh air and to look for the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican City Museum was a bit like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in the sense that everyone was completely lost even with the one-way system, but you could not turn back.
Somehow we ended up outside again near the Death Star.
After being 84% lost we passed through another grand doorway into the most impressive hallway possibly on this planet.
What could we see that would possibly top the crazy map ceiling hallway? We then passed through the Sistene Chappel, we were not allowed to take photos
The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, in Vatican City and the official residence of the pope. Originally known as the Cappella Magna (‘Great Chapel’), the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who had it built between 1473 and 1481. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescoes that decorate the interior, most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment, both by Michelangelo.
We passed through what seemed to be a series of never-ending rooms and hallways, we have never looked at so much stuff in our lives. We agree that the Vatican City is a must-see! You would have to spend a decade here to do it justice. After a few hours we had seen more than our brains could handle, there is a gazillion things. This place is crazy. You don’t even know if you should be looking at the things in the room, or the ceiling or the mosaic floor or the view out the window or the ahhh.
Lachlan then decided to rejoin us and looked confused when he was back with the program. For a boy who spends half his day staring at the sky, he was in his element.
Passing through the Vatican City Museum and Sistine Chapel was an experience we are never going to forget. Feeling completely overwhelmed we had to get outside to stop looking at things before we completely lost our minds. We made our way to the famous St. Peter’s Square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican (Italian: Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply Saint Peter’s Basilica (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City, the papal enclave that is within the city of Rome, Italy. It was initially planned by Pope Nicholas V and then Pope Julius II to replace the aging Old St. Peter’s Basilica, which was built in the fourth century by Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.
Located on the edge of the historic center of Rome , at 19 m asl , the square is part of the Vatican City and is bordered by the border with the Italian state ; through the Borgo district which lies to the east, the main accesses are from via di Porta Angelica or via della Conciliazione. The famous square, a notable example of Baroque architecture and urban planning , is dedicated to the homonymous saint and is a daily meeting point for thousands of Catholic faithful from all over the world… It is old!!!
Sadly we did not see Pope Francis out for a stroll, probably because it was too hot.
Pope Francis born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936 is the Bishop of Rome and hence head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 2013. Francis is the first pope to be a member of the Society of Jesus, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since Gregory III, a Syrian who reigned in the 8th century. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked for a time as a bouncer and a janitor as a young man before training to be a chemist and working as a technician in a food science laboratory.
After being blown away in the Vatican City, we were hungry and dehydrated. We did not have to go far to find Eloise’s two favourite words.
We made our way back to the trains. Luckily on the streets of Rome, there is free chilled sparkling water on tap. No need to deplete your parents’ SodaStream cannister.
We rushed back to the hotel so Dad could get out of his skinny chinos. It was not hard to convince the parents for ice cream (and breadsticks, poor Lachlan), before the playground and a much needed evening in the pool.
After Eloise had watched a couple of Italian cartoons on the IMAX, it was down to the bar for dinner. Eloise was in charge of Lachlan, but struggling to keep up with the turbo crawler.
Back home in a truly sunny Scotland, “a flotilla of boats and a re-enactment of the Queen’s coronation are among events celebrating the Platinum Jubilee in Scotland this weekend… Scotland is the only part of the UK where senior members of the royal family will not be attending jubilee events on Saturday”. So “what does Scotland think of the Queen?”
For our concerned followers, we can also happily report Curious George has returned from Bromania in one piece with many stories to tell. Find out in the next episode of Curious George…