When In Rome; Rome Day 2

Did the last day really just happen? Are we really waking up in Rome this morning in our little (actually rather big) villa? I had to shake my head and rub my eyes a few times to remember, yes, yes this is really happening. We are really waking up in beautiful Rome, Italy!

We rose early, didn't want to waste any time! Got ourselves dressed and back out into the streets of Rome. I took a deep breath in and just stood for a minute trying to believe I was really here. We enjoyed passing by some of the things we had seen yesterday when we got here, and then scurried our way to Vatican City. The Pope was holding a mass in St. Peter's Square, and we wanted to catch it!

Of course, we got lost along the way and couldn't figure out for the life of us how to get into the Vatican. But when we finally did, my jaw dropped. It was beautiful. It was filled with people, security and up at the very top, the Pope. We listened to mass for a while and then realized it was time for our tour of the Vatican Museum. So scurried our way into line. Which, again, we got lost trying to find!

When we got into the museum, I was left speechless. The architecture, the amazing ceilings, the statues, the history, it was all beyond anything you could ever imagine. Books, pictures, history lessons, don't do it justice. You need to be there, physically standing there seeing it in person. I think my favorite part of these museums though, was the ceilings. I couldn't believe how beautifully painted and grand they all were. As we continued to make our way through the museum, we came to a halt where we were told to put away our phones and cameras.

This was it! We were heading into the Sistine Chapel! When the doors opened for us to walk in, they packed us all in their like sardines. There was security all around, whistling and yelling at anyone trying to snap photos. That little bit of photographer in me wanted to take out my phone and sneak a picture, but it wasn't worth getting into trouble. And honestly, I wanted to take it in through my own eyes, not looking through a camera lens!

It truly was beautiful. Hubby was absolutely amazed. I think I had been so wowed by the architecture in the other churches we had been through, that I wasn't as WOW'd as I thought. And I know you are probably thinking WHAT! I guess I just expected something different! But when I stop to think back to that day, that moment, I really was WOW'd. That painting on that entire ceiling was beautiful. And to think we were standing right where Michelangelo once stood (and painted!), was unreal.

When we snapped out of our daze, and realized we were sweating and claustrophobic, we made our way to the exit. Which, funny story.....when we got to the exit, some lady was coming in that way. Looked up at the guard standing at the door and goes "can you tell me how to get to the Sistine Chapel?" UHHHH LADY! You are standing inside of it right now!! After a few giggles at that ladies expense (sorry in advance whoever you were), we went outside and walked around St. Peter's Square where the Pope had just been hosting mass. Stopped and snapped a few photos, ok if you know me then you know it wasn't just a few, and then kept on exploring.

Making our way out of Vatican City, we passed Castel Sant' Angelo. This wasn't on our itinerary to do, but I couldn't not go see it! Because... I mean.. A castle!!!! It was built in the 2nd century as a mausoleum. And then was later used by the Popes as a fortress and castle. And was also said that the archangel had appeared. So of course we bought our tickets, and headed in.

Just like everything else in Italy, it was beautiful. The history, the architecture, everything about it was so cool. We were actually walking through a castle! I tried to picture what it was like back in the 2nd century and even later on as it turned into other uses. My imagination ran wild thinking up all sorts of things!