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Rome – The Vatican

7th May 2008 – Day 10 (Rome)

After my morning meet with the Pope,  I make my way back to the square to meet up with my arranged tour of the day! I went with Romaround Tour because the lady, Elaine was very knowledgeable and made us feel comfortable. After signing up for their Colisuem tour with Roberto (which we bumped into by chance and joined it. Wtf LOL), they gave us a complimentary tour of the Palatino Hill which Elaine made immensly intriguing. It was just a pile of ruins as you can see here but her words and passion for the history alone made the whole place come to life. As if by magic, I see the assassin of the Domitian Flavian come to life. Thank you Elaine.

Elaine is canadian and she was very easy to understand. They claim that all their guides have English as their first language. Except for Roberto I guess – since he’s the owner and a native.

Anyway moving on, we paid €45 for Adult (includes Admission Fee of €19.50) for a 3 hour guided tour of the whole place. Before coming by here, I knew and was prepared for the amount of money I have to spend on guides. Rome is a wonderful city, immensely rich with history and what’s left today are mostly ruins that can only come alive if you know about such stuff or you have a guide.

The Vatican City is a HUGE HUGE HUGE place. I don’t have forever in Rome so we decided to just splurge, enjoy the best the Vatican has to offer and be off to the other places.

Before we embarked on this trip to Rome, neither Duckie nor I had any particular interest in Renaissance art. I was, as usual, flippant, about it all, just wanting to see everything with an empty open mind. And Duckie, as usual, is strongly inclined to everything chinese only.

What we didn’t know is that I’ll walk out a fan of Michangelo’s Sculptures and Duckie, a fan of mythical sculptures by various artists.

Enough of TALK. Here’s the Vatican Museuem and the experience of a lifetime.

The entrance whispers of the secrets it holds within.

Sorry, I just had to take a couple more pictures of the clowned swiss guards.

The Vatican Gardens. I don’t know why I took a picture of the cone. It looked really majestic though. Looking out onto the gardens.

The gardens. It was a freaking hot day. Impossibly scorching! It wasn’t too bad once I stepped into some shade but otherwise, it was SCORCHING in every sense. The guide had to choose this place here to give a introduction to the Sistine Chapel.

Here’s some random pictures here and there of the Vatican Museum inside, taken while I was gawking at some painting or having my breath taken away from the stories Elaine told.

Everything was huge! From the paintings, to the domes to even this bowl (above)!

One of the main sculptures that we did see was the Laocoon (above) was over 1500 years old when it was found when Michelangelo was alive.

All through my primary, secondary and tertiary education, museums were boring (read: the ones I’ve been to) as boring could ever mean. But the Vatican… one word: SPECTACULAR.

The guide brought the otherwise passive marbled statues to life. They represented blood, war, victory, love, sex, good and bad. It was all very surreal.

There is the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, a Caravaggio, a Leonardo, and three Raphaels. The Transfiguration by Raphael is nothing short of breath taking. It was painted for St. Peter’s but because of the risk of dry rot it was moved to the Pinacoteca in the Vatican. Again, I cannot stress how big everything was. The paintings were amazing, but the first thing that always was in awe of was how big they were.

A4? What’s A4? They have paintings that fill the WHOLE ceiling. And they certainly don’t scrimp on the stories they can tell on even a large space.

There’s so much more but what fun is there if I show you everything? =)

My Other Posts in Rome:
1) Splurge Dinner in Rome!
2) Wednesday’s Pope Day
3) Palatino hill & The Roman Forum
4) Rome by nightfall
5) Awe-inspiring Colisuem
6) My footsteps in my Europe Adventure


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  1. Josephine
    January 20, 2009 / 5:57 am

    the paintings are nice…
    ROME – Heard from my parents, it is a nice place to visit…

    I want to go too… I think it will only happen if someone is willing to sponsor me. Super Stingy Josephine will not be ‘seh dak’ to spend on luxurious trip…

  2. Duckie
    January 21, 2009 / 2:00 am

    A very memorable museum. About 2000++ years of history crammed into a small museum.

    Lots of reference to Greek Mythology, Egyptian History and Roman history inside there.

    Its a definite MUST-GO.

  3. Ju Ann
    January 21, 2009 / 6:21 am

    Jo: save money lor. tt’s what i did. it was an experience worth all that scrimping and savings for months!!

    duckie: lets go to the rest of europe!!!

  4. jlshyang
    January 21, 2009 / 6:56 pm

    Ahh, gotta love your entry!

    You were there when it was scorching hot. When i was there, it was freezing cold but i still enjoyed myself.

    I think i should get down to writing my travelogue in a detailed, personal and chronological manner later on.

    what do you think? :)

  5. Borneo Falcon
    January 22, 2009 / 3:40 am

    I did not visit Rome and Vatican in my visit to Italy in 1999. Visited Venice, Pisa and Florence back then.

    Vatican City is really nice.

  6. Ju Ann
    January 22, 2009 / 6:32 am

    Accyee: Yea! do that! it’ll be time well-invested! :)

    Borneo: huh how come! most people who go to italy go to Rome for sure! not enough time?

  7. Borneo Falcon
    January 23, 2009 / 6:55 am

    Yes, not enough time. Maybe go there another time. God willing

  8. Abby
    March 28, 2011 / 4:20 pm

    Ah, glad you are finally into Italian art my cousin lol. I've been interested in that and all those myths for a long time. I think Italian artists are some of the best around.

  9. Ju Ann
    March 28, 2011 / 4:26 pm

    yes!! I must see to fall in love with it ma!! hahahah so i had to go to rome to see it for myself first!

  10. Abby
    March 28, 2011 / 4:53 pm

    yup. then thanks for reporting! must start saving money. and work…

  11. Ju Ann
    March 28, 2011 / 4:54 pm

    you'll get there :)