Day 14: Visiting the Vatican Museums, Part Two- The Renaissance

Continuing on our journey past the Etruscan wing, we eventually came to the long hallway that houses different galleries of sculpture, tapestries, and maps. Here, we were reunited with the hoards so at times it was slow going and easy to lose site of the great artworks amongst the mass of people. Here are a few shots from our walk.

fertility goddess, obviously


the ceiling of the map gallery


From this long hallway of galleries, we then moved into the Raphael rooms, a series of apartments and rooms painted and decorated by Raphael (artist, not turtle) and his students.

celebrating Mary’s Immaculate Conception

from the Constantine room

a little symbolism of the the new religion triumphing over the old

depicting Constantine’s vision of the Christ-symbol during the Battle of the Milvian Bridge

The Disputa where Jesus oversees the discussion regarding the divinity of the Eucharist

The School of Athens- That sad looking fellow near the bottom of the steps is Michelangelo as painted by Raphael.

Winding through the end of the Raphael rooms, you finally come to the one chapel that it seems all of Christendom is trying to see. Enter: the Sistine Chapel. Given the hoards that were amongst us during the whole visit through the museums, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I was not, in fact, squished like a sardine inside the chapel. Sure, there were lots of people, but it was easy to move freely and enjoy the walls and ceilings. It was also markedly cooler in the Sistine, offering welcome respite from the rest of the humid museum. We walked towards the middle of the chapel and stood for a while taking in each of the Old Testament scenes on the ceiling before walking around a bit to pay more attention to the walls. On the front end of the chapel, near the entrance was the scene of the Last Judgment. I believe that wall was my favorite part of the chapel. Michelangelo really managed to capture so much sheer human emotion in that one painting- it’s really is amazing. During our entire visit to the chapel, there were many security guards walking around shushing the crowds and reminding everyone that picture taking is not allowed within the Sistine Chapel.

That said, however…. The Husband is not always the best listener ::ahem:: So… here are a couple of contraband shots of the chapel. **Please don’t tell the Pope on me!!!**


God creating the world, God creating Adam, etc, etc

In the center, you will see Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit and then being shunned from the Garden of Eden.

The Last Judgment

After exiting the Sistine Chapel, we continued on to the Early Christian art wing and then through the Pinacoteca, or painting gallery. We saw some lovely stone work and paintings throughout. Knowing that we needed to wrap it up so we would have time to grab a bite to eat and head over to St. Peter’s, we finished up stopping by and viewing the double-spiral staircase before heading down the cafe for lunch. I grabbed a salad and the Husband got some pizza which wasn’t bad. It was pretty typical museum fare (and pricing), but it was convenient, clean, and quick! After lunch, we exited the museums and started walking towards St. Peter’s. Since our scavi tour of St. Peter’s tomb was beginning soon, we had just enough time to find the gate we needed on the left side of the St. Peter’s square and check with the Swiss guards about where to go.
Stay tuned for the last bit of the day, touring the tomb of St. Peter and the church that was built upon it.







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