European Adventures: Vatican Museums

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Buongiorno! The last stop of our Mediterranean cruise is none other than the Eternal City – Rome. After disembarkation, we wasted no time and immediately started the day touring the city. First stop – the Vatican Museums.

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We spent hours lining up to get inside, but we braved the heat and fatigue. When we walked through the galleries and saw the amazing pieces of art, we knew it was definitely worth the wait. Sculptures, paintings, tapestry, architecture and other art forms were found in every corner.

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Overwhelming is one word I could use to describe my experience walking through the different galleries. The ceilings were my favorite part because I’ve never seen them so ornately designed!

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Of course, the highlight of our visit would be the Sistine Chapel. The place was packed with people who were all looking up to admire Michelangelo’s masterpiece. The moment I walked inside until I exited, I was also looking up! It was grander than I could have ever imagined.

Picture taking is not allowed inside the Sistine Chapel so here are some photos from the internet.

 

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While walking through the compound, we also had a photo with the famous dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the background. After exiting the Vatican Museums, we headed straight to St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square (more on that on my next post).

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Huge thanks to Sister Pierette and Tita Anabella for fetching us at the Port of Civitavecchia and for touring us around. Thank you also to Sister Bel and Tita Christine!

Read my other posts about our European adventures:

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European Adventures: Pisa & Florence

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Buongiorno! Our European adventure along the Mediterranean coast continues and the next stop is Tuscany, a region in the central part of Italy. Our ship docked at the Port of Livorno, and our day trip included the cities Pisa and Florence.

DSC01766Upon arriving at Pisa, the weather was quite gloomy and we were quite scared that it might ruin our day trip. Thankfully, we only experienced light rain in some parts of the day. Of course, our trip to Pisa was all about the Leaning Tower. It is actually the bell tower of the cathedral, which are both located at the Square of Miracles (Piazza dei Miracoli).Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetDSC01792

After our short visit to Pisa, we proceeded to our next stop – Florence. The travel time was around 1 1/2 to 2 hours so we grabbed the chance to get some rest and be ready for an afternoon of walking.

Our first stop was Santa Croce Church (Basilica of Santa Croce), the resting place of icons such as Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo Galilei. A Monument to Dante also stands in front the church.

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The next stop on our Florence walking tour was the Piazza della Signoria. It can be considered as an open-air gallery, with numerous sculptures displayed, such as David (the original is in the Galleria dell’Accademia) by Michelangelo, Hercules and Cacus (1534) by Bandinelli, and Nettuno (1575) by Ammannati.

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The Piazza della Signoria has been the center of political life in Florence since the 14th century with the prominent Palazzo Vecchio overlooking the square.

 

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After an Italian lunch, we continued our walking tour and had some time to marvel at the beautiful Duomo. The Piazza del Duomo was bustling with people when we were there, and numerous souvenir shops, gelato stands, cafes and restaurants lined the surrounding streets.

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Our last stop for the day was Galleria dell’ Accademia, where we lined up for quite a few hours to see the original David sculpture by Michelangelo.

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Aside from the sculpture of David, which is probably the most famous sculpture in the world, we also got to see more sculptures and paintings by different Italian artists.

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That’s it for our day trip in Pisa and Florence!

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See my other posts on our European adventures: