Day four of my trip to Italy, and the last full day to run around before we had to hunker down and get to work. We decided to get up bright and early and take the Metro over to Vatican City, to visit St. Peters Basilica. As in the past posts, I’ve updated my Flickr account with a new photoset.
St Peters Basilica is awe inspiring, even if you do not share the religion. Just the amount of care and work that goes into every little thing is incredible. And the weight of time and history is apparent in every monument, altar, statue, and chapel. Though you can think of it as a single, large building with a single, cavernous room, the Basilica is actually divided into areas, with their own thematic sets of paintings, statues, and memorials.
Even early in the morning and even with the size of the Nave, it started to get pretty crowded a couple hours in. And yes, you can easily spend all day in there, going over every inch, and still not see everything. We went in by ourselves, without a guidebook and not part of a tour group, and still we were in there for four hours or so!
After going through, we popped back out and crossed the Piazza. There’s a long, straight street that leads almost from the river directly to the square, and we ran into a nun parade! It was obviously a scheduled event, celebrating some sort of nursing hospital nun order, but we certainly were not expecting it, and made for a nice surprise. I was able to snap a couple pictures and then then sit back and enjoy some cappuccinos as they went by :)
After our outing to St Peters, we split up and went touring Rome on our own. I shot across town on the Metro to Circus Maximus, checking out the Pyramid on the way. All that remains of the Circus is a long lush green field, a common place for picnics and joggers. Right beside it, though, are the ruins of the Roman Forums.
I arrived too late to be able to go down into it (most of the major monuments close to the public at about 4:30pm) but I was still able to go up and around, and find some great views. The sun was starting to set, and cast some amazing shadows. Though work would mean I wouldn’t be able to visit these ruins over the next couple days, I promised myself I would make time before I left Rome!