Okay, so it’s taken me two days to get this post going because Holy Crap did I take a lot of pictures of the Vatican. (did you see what I did there? Ahaha) Anyway I’ve uploaded all the pictures to imgur, which took a very, very long time, so after it was all done I went to bed rather than make this post. And now I’m making this post. Congratulations! You are now up to date on the goings-on in my blogging career.
So my roommates made it home safe the night before. They got in at about 4:30, when I was already asleep. The bar the Italian guys had been taken them to turned out to be closed, so they just went to a touristy karaoke bar they knew was overpriced but good. Nicole was, ah, “not feeling well” so she didn’t go. It was just Ayan, Sarah, Deanna, and me then. Our tickets were scheduled for 1:00, but due to everyone being out late the night before, we showed up at the Vatican around 1:30.
Here is a picture I took on the way to the Vatican, near Argentina, which has a lot of bus stops on it. The street art in Rome is amazing.
First we wandered through St. Peter’s Square. I wanted to stop and take more touristy pictures, but we were On A Mission. I will probably try to go back there at some point and take pictures, but not today. Not Sunday. Not in St. Peter’s Square.
So there isn’t really an obvious route that you’re supposed to take. You walk out into a terrace area and you try to figure out for yourself where to go. I wanted to see the Pigna, so we went to the Cortile della Pigna first. Once upon a time, there was a fountain built in a section of Rome that was made to look like a pinecone. It gave water to the whole district, and so the area was named “pinecone district.” Eventually one of the popes was adding to the Vatican. He realized that the people at the Vatican needed to drink, so he took the foutain from the district and made it the fountain of the Vatican.
Historically, that was a good move. Had there been a chunk of bronze just hanging out, it would have been torn down anyway during the many invasions of Rome in the middle ages. But it was in the Vatican. No one wanted to take from the Vatican. Nowadays the area is still known as “pinecone district” even though there is no pinecone, it’s weird.
Here’s something that I learned fairly quickly. I was excited to go to the Vatican because I wanted to learn about the Popes. I wanted to learn about the Borgia and the historical political institution known as the Papacy. But the Vatican is an art museum. Lots of art has been contributed to the Vatican, they gotta do something with it. That makes sense. But the Vatican museum is a gigantic collection of art. You don’t go to the Vatican museum to learn about the Vatican.
As you can see, there are a lot of statues. So many that instead of taking serious pictures of statues, I just took pictures of the few that amused me.
Haha, check out this guy’s moobs.
BEHOLD THE MOOBS.
I took this picture to make a joke about “ahaha she’s going to take your soul” but now I’m looking at it. I know the dark spots are holes in the eyes. What was there before? Was it gems or precious metals? Was this statue looted, the body tossed aside? Now looking at this statue makes me sad.
I forget why this statue amused me. Maybe because it looks like it’s snapping? I don’t know, but look at that hand. That is some fine detail work.
This baby frightened Ayan.
Speaking of frightening children.
Okay we’re done with phantom childen.
This statue is all “LAD-AYS.”
I have to tell you that there were a lot of statues like this one, based around the story of Ganymede and Zeus. Ganymede was a beautiful boy. Zeus was Zeus. He turned himself into an eagle and stole Ganymede away for some, ah, Zeusing.
A lot of these statues were damaged in some way. This picture was weird to me, because either the statue head was completely reconstructed (horribly) or the head is all mildewy. Eww.
You could say that the sculptors had some phantom limb syndrome. Actually for serious, this one is shown with an arm around its shoulder and I liked that.
We’re done with the statues now by the way.
Okay, this struck me as weird about the Vatican. Absolutely none of the statues that hung over doorways looked happy to be there.
NONE OF THEM.
It was around this time that Ayan and I realized that we had lost Deanna and Sarah. So we decided to just hang out for a bit and wait to see if they would find us. You see, we were in part of a loop, so we hoped that they just hadn’t exited the loop yet.
So we waited. Eventually Sarah found us. We didn’t find Deanna for a while; she had wandered off completely on her own. She got to see the Borgia apartments and I didn’t.
What is going on with these statues, I don’t even.
“So I says to Mabel, I says”
“Dude you’re not even hitting the plate with your water jug.”
“Haters gonna hate.”
I guess even the great art preservationists have to use tape.
I’m not entirely sure why, but imagery of dudes kissing baby Jesus’ feet always amuses me. Generally speaking, the person doing the kissing is the guy who commissioned the art, which is I’m sure are important things to note, but mostly I just think it’s funny that old dudes are always kissing a baby’s foot.
2000 years before CGI, there was Jesus, doing the Dreamworks face.
(yes I know the tapestry is like 400-600 years old, not 2000, but I was making a joke)
Anyway look at this foot.
Anyway look at this ceiling.
It is a very pretty ceiling.
I took this picture because haha, dudes kissing. But Ayan turned out to be really interested in this tapestry. I looked at the tapestry more closely, and I realized that it was depicting Holy Thursday. It was separated into three panels, represented by the walls of the building that the Last Supper took place in. I pointed out what about the second panel indicated that it was the Last Supper — Jesus with a ring of holy light, the apostles blatantly getting drunk and falling asleep. Then in the third panel, I explained why St. Peter was holding a sword and a dude’s ear was falling off, and why it was significant that Jesus was kissing Peter. I felt bad about secretly taking a terrible picture because it was funny, because this is an important piece of early sequential art.
Anyway on to the Sistine Chapel. I took pictures inside the Sistine Chapel, because you’re not allowed to take pictures of the Sistine Chapel. I understand why they don’t want pictures taken (actually I don’t, I can only guess it has to do with copyright). I just wanted to break the rules. So I won’t post pictures of the Sistine Chapel.
Here, have a picture of a cow instead.
We actually found Deanna at the Sistine Chapel. It was funny. We were worried about her, but after waiting around we decided to just go ahead to the Sistine Chapel. And there she was. And the first thing she said was, “I found your friend!” It turned out that Sarah’s friend who was supposed to join us yesterday was in the Vatican eating a pastry at the little cafe just off of the Sistine Chapel. Life is full of surprises.
I took this photo because hahaha buff babies, but actually this is a pretty vase.
In the Vatican, even the exit is pretty.
I was a little disappointed though. I know nothing more about the Papacy than when I went to the Vatican. I was hoping to buy a book on the history of the Papacy in the bookstore at least, but no dice. Nothing but books on the Sistine Chapel and Botticelli and Michelangelo. I did buy stuff — their price for prints was really reasonable — but it was all art history.
We were all starving so we went to a cafe close to St. Peter’s Square to eat, and who should join us but Sarah’s friend? I am seated away from the crowd because after about forty minutes of sitting in direct sunlight your neck starts to get hot and you start to worry about getting burned.