Since this is technically a different country (and because I was really blown away by this place), I decided to give Vatican City it’s own blog entry.
As you could have guessed from my Florence post, my faith is a big part of who I am. To be in the epicenter of Roman Catholicism was such an awesome experience. It was so cool to see so many nuns and brothers out and about on the streets and waiting in line to tour the basilica. I felt a sense of belonging at the Vatican and that I was part of something larger than myself. While the splendor and ornateness of churches sometimes rubs me the wrong way, the Vatican seemed to be more than the very buildings it was made up of. The city itself held a feeling of joy, importance and community.
St. Peter’s Basilica was definitely a highlight for me. While many people were there to simply see it, snap a photo and get on with their day, I really took the time to experience this Holy place. My favorite part about my visit was sneaking into a small chapel for adoration. While the crowds buzzed and bustled outside, I found myself in a quite, incensed filled space, and truly got to have a moment with God among the many other praying brothers and sisters. It was nice to not only see the basilica, but also to experience it and take part in what is was built for.
The church itself was beautiful and it was really cool to see the Pope’s small, white chair up at the front of the altar. Like I said before, I really felt connected in this church and am glad I took the time to take it in and not just check it off as another thing on my list.
After spending time in the basilica, I wondered over to the small little Vatican post office where you can send post cards from the smallest country in the world. I thought this spot was so cute and of course sent some cards of my own!
Before starting my day I knew that not prebooking the Vatican Museums would mean waiting in a lot of lines. Going into the day, I decided to keep a positive attitude and properly prepare for the crowds and the lines. After the basilica I found a quick spot for lunch (and gelato) and sat down on a bench, preparing for the 2.5hr line ahead of me to get into the museums. The Vatican was the only plan I had for the day so I felt no need to rush. Going in with the right attitude made all the difference. While the museums still weren’t a highlight for me, I’m glad I took the time to see some cool art (and pick up some tidbits of knowledge from the tour groups around me!)