The day began with a trip to The Vatican. I was unsure of what to expect, but as per usual I was pleasantly surprised. Again I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the art, the architecture, the concept of life within The Vatican.
The tour of The Vatican began with a 1 hour tour of the galleries. Personally, I do not think that is enough time. There are so many masterpieces that I could have spent all day admiring. It is just absurd how much amazing work they have there from Michelangelo to Raphael, to Leonardo da Vinci. What I found to be quite fascinating, is how you can see for yourself how the techniques and styles have evolved throughout history.
If the art wasn’t impressive enough, you have the incredible architecture. As The Vatican is a holy place, the architecture belongs to the Renaissance style. This style of architecture is extravagant in terms of scale but simple in terms of style, as it is inspired by Classicism. I found the landscaping of the gardens to compliment the buildings, it emphasised the quality and the classic character of The Vatican. Many people say that The Sistine Chapel is the best bit about visiting The Vatican, however mine was St. Peter’s Basilica. I fell in love with the Renaissance and Baroque style of the building; The heavy masonry used throughout; And the extravagant scale of the building. It left me in such awe.
I want to highlight that visiting The Vatican strongly reinforced my views of finding Rome to be overwhelming. From the detail of the art work, to the scale of the buildings, the materials, everything is just so flamboyant and luxurious that I found it to be quite overpowering. Usually I am a person that leans to a more minimalistic approach to art, architecture and life in general, but I did appreciate The Vatican. I think it is one of the few places in the world that can achieve it without coming across as being disorderly.
One thing I now recommend to anyone visiting Rome, is to visit Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. You walk through a convent to a building which surrounds the land officially owned by Malta. Once you reach this building, you peer through the key hole. The view is so magical. Just by fate it is a view of St. Peter’s Basilica, perfectly framed by palm trees. No description does it justice. It is one of my favourite experiences from Rome as it is one just for you to enjoy. The great thing about it is that you are forced to just enjoy and appreciate the view as no camera could capture the sheer beauty. Visiting as the sun sets is idyllic.