25 July 2007

The Vatican

July 7, 2007
Vatican City, Italy


Once we made it into St. Peter's Square, we stopped. It's breathtaking - and not in the dramatic way a guy in a romantic-comedy says a gal is "breathtaking." I mean to enter St. Peter's Square leaves you spinning on the spot to take it all in, with your mouth agape and mind churning. Say what you will about the Catholic as an institution. The Vatican is beautiful. Take a look for yourself.

video

The church even made the line look small in the beginning. But watch that video again and see how far it stretched. It did seem to move quickly and I occupied myself by taking pictures.

Our first run in with security was the usual x-ray / metal detector arrangement every airline passenger should know and love by now. The we came across the fashion police.

Now more than a tourist attraction, or scene from Angels & Demons, the Vatican is a church. You say it's the most churchy-church out there. So if you go, make sure you'd wear something you could wear to church. I don't mean you ought to dress up, but if you are showing shoulders or knees (male or female) you will have to cover the offending parts before you go inside. We had not thought about appropriate dress even once. Fortunately, we were covered, literally.

All this to say: we went to the Vatican and it was lovely. Inside we saw art I cannot describe and opulence that surpasses wealth. We saw tributes to popes past and Jesse dabbled in a confessional for about 3 seconds before he started smoking.

Even though it was our first stop of the day, it was mentally exhausting. There were so many impressive parts, I felt overwhelmed by it all. Jesse said he felt the same way. I don't how long we were there, but we left to go find the Papal Tombs.