Honeymoon IX – Vatican
We got into Rome later that day, tired but happy to be on familiar streets. The next day I woke up and nearly slipped into my short-sleeve pink jumpsuit. At the last minute, I changed my mind and wore something else.
Boy, am I glad I did. As you can see, they're not allowed at the Vatican. I got lucky.
These guys would have never let me enter dressed like that, or would they?
Here's one of the first things you see when you enter St. Peter's Basilica. Believe it or not, I actually dipped my hand in the holy water and crossed myself. As they say, when in Rome...
Here's Michelangelo's Pieta, which means "pity." Carved in 1499, it depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of Mary after he was crucified. It's behind glass now after some lunatic attacked it.
St. Peter's is amazing in its size and opulence. Here's a view from the base of the rotunda.
Here's a work by Bernini. Yowza! Since we were already this far up the rotunda, we decided to go all the way to the top. Along the way, we learned that the journey wasn't meant for those who are prone to claustrophobia.
The staircase goes round and round and round and round and round and round, getting narrower all the time. It's dark, stuffy and there are narrow slits for windows. Kim stopped in a tiny alcove with space for one. There were people behind me, so I had to keep going. That's when we got separated.
I kept climbing. I waited for her at a several locations, but eventually figured she had turned around. I'd meet her at the bottom.
This is one of the larger spiral staircases. A smaller one had a rope in the middle.
The climb was worth it. Here's St. Peter's Square.
You could see mountains in the distance.
You could see parts of the Vatican that are off limits. This is where the Pope goes skinny dipping at night, although I haven't confirmed that.
After a dizzying descent, I waited for Kim smack dab in the middle of a nearly empty St. Peter's Square, while she waited for me inside near the elevator where I should have exited. Eventually, she walked outside and I spotted her in my binoculars at the same time she spotted me. After that, we decided to have a plan in the event we got separated. Good idea!
Next, we visited the Vatican Museum. It's one of the best museums I've ever visited.
If you want to see small penises and severed heads, this is the place to be!
Here's another head.
Here's some hard-core Catholic porn.
This place is amazing. There's loot everywhere.
There are rooms and hallways dedicated to every single art form. This is in the Vatican map room. I imagine that hundreds of years ago Popes wandered into this room, pointed at the maps and discussed what was going down.
Don't tell Kim, but I'm going to get a second mortgage on the house and purchase this piece for her birthday.
We made our way to the Sistine Chapel, where I took this photo until I was informed by a security guard that no photos are allowed. Apparently, everyone in the chapel knew about that rule except for me. I was blown away by the Sistine Chapel and liked The Last Judgement on the wall even more than the ceiling, which was also great.
This spiral staircase took us down to the exit.
We got on the subway and headed back to the center of Rome. Kim took this photo at the restaurant we ate at.
I can't even begin to describe how good the food was almost every night in Italy. Kim's photo of eggplant parmesan tells the story. Then again, my wife can whip up some great Italian dishes herself, which is good because we can't afford to go to Italy very often!