Let Us Pray

Trip Start Aug 05, 2013
Trip End Oct 15, 2013

Flag of Italy  , Lazio,
Friday, September 6, 2013

Approximately 25,000 people visit the Vatican Museums each day, shuffling along room to room, half admiring the art, half wondering when they will reach the Sistine Chapel. 
On the day I was one of the cattle being herded along, I was prepared to be blown away by Michelangelo's famous frescoes. The beauty of the paintings is something we are all familiar with and now I was finally going to experience them firsthand. 

I stopped for a quick bathroom break before ascending the stairs. I didn't want anything to distract me from what I was about to see.

I entered the chapel and realized the other 24,999 visitors seemed to have arrived at the same time as me. People were packed in like sardines and guards were scattered about screaming: Silence!! NO photos!! S-I-I-I-I-LENCE!!!! 

Not exactly the scene I was expecting. 

At the risk of being escorted out by the guards, I did manage to snap a few photos, but was in and out in two minutes. I left feeling unimpressed and disappointed, wondering what all the fuss was about.

When I reached the gift shop a little while later and saw tote bags, coffee mugs and key chains adorned with images of the Creation of Adam I realized I had seen something special, but unfortunately hadn't been able to take it all in. I tell you what -- tourists ruin everything ;)

The museums left me underwhelmed, but St. Peter's Basilica quickly turned the visit to Vatican City around. The place was truly massive. Even with my 24,999 new friends, I still had plenty of room to walk around and enjoy the majesty of the massive church.

However, I'm thinking a private viewing of the Sistine Chapel may be in order for my next visit to Rome. I'll have to take that up with Pope Francis. He seems like a pretty cool guy. Shouldn't be a problem.





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