NEW BLOG FEATURE

NEW: VIEW RIGHT SIDE TAB AND SELECT
CITY FOR TASTE OF HAWAII FAVORITES!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ST. PETERS BASILICA - VATICAN CITY, ITALY

ST. PETERS BASILICA
VATICAN CITY, ITALY

ST. PETERS BASILICA
PIAZZA SAN PIETRO
00120 VATICAN CITY
HOURS: 7:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Few places in the world that I have visited move me like St. Peters Basilica.  I was there 16 years ago and attended a Mass in Latin inside the Basilica.  Afterwards we walked down into the catacombs early in the morning where only priest were having mass.  It was ever so quiet save the chanting coming from small chapels below St. Peters.  Between the Mass and visit to the catacombs I had a peace run through me like never before.  I needed to be here at this time with my wife.  It just felt right.  Fast forward to today and I was blessed to take my daughter back to this magnificent Basilica that is so rich with history, the Catholic Religion and masterpieces in architecture and art.  This place is so beautiful.  So perfect when you can enjoy it without the large crowds of tourists.  You can spend several hours waiting in line to enter St. Peters Basilica and then enter to hundreds if not thousands of people clamoring to take pictures.  Or you can be smart and enjoy a more solemn experience by getting here at 7:00 am when they open the doors.  Believe me it is worth getting up early.  We always try to get to St. Peters by 7:00 am.  There is no line and you walk right in.  Enter to find mostly priest and nuns having service at the many alters scattered throughout the Basilica.  When you enter the front doors turn to the right.  You will see what I think is the greatest sculpture in history.  The Pieta' by Michelangelo.  The Pieta' is now housed behind a glass wall after a crazy person tried to destroy it with a hammer.  The closer you can get the better.  We visited twice and the second time the barriers were down so we were able to get much closer.  I remember seeing the Pieta' before it was enclosed in glass.   The images in my mind have stayed with me to this day.  How Michelangelo created this masterpiece is beyond me.  The details are amazing.  I could spend hours gazing at this great sculpture.  It is just that good.  Going past the Pieta' on the right is the final resting place of Pope John Paul.  This was "my Pope".  Writing this now brings tears to my eyes thinking of him.  I loved the man and still do.  Pope John Paul's tomb is now an alter where Mass is held each day.  We went to Mass here on a Sunday when visitors from his home country of Poland conducted the Mass in Polish.  It was my family and maybe 30 people from Poland along with a few nuns and priests.  The Mass was 100% in Polish but it did not matter.  I understood the meaning and embraced the moment.  To be receiving Holy Communion at the alter of Pope John Paul was a special moment that I will never forget.  Like my first visit to St. Peters, I belonged here at this moment in time.  It was perfect.  St. Peters Basilica was built starting in 1506 and was opened in 1626.  We took a guided tour with Viator on another day that included the inside of the Basilica and a walk up to the top of the top of the building.  The steps are small and steep but the hike is worth it when you get to the top and look outwards over the Vatican and Rome.  One of the most beautiful sights on earth.  
Travel Tip:  Arrive at St. Peters Basilica early in the morning when it opens. We spent one day on our own here and then another with a guide that we booked through Viator.com.  The Viator Skip the Line Tour was well worth the money.

A PANORAMIC VIEW OF ST. PETERS SQUARE
GET HERE EARLY IN THE MORNING TO AVOID WHAT CAN BE SEVERAL HOUR WAIT TO ENTER
ST. PETERS BASILICA
ST. PETERS SQUARE IS VIRTUALLY EMPTY IN THE EARLY MORNING
VISITING ST. PETERS WITH MY BFF
YOU GO THROUGH SECURITY AND METAL DETECTOR PRIOR TO ENTERING THE BASILICA
TURN TO THE RIGHT AFTER ENTERING AND YOU WILL SEE A MASTERPIECE
THE PIETA' BY MICHELANGELO
A MASTERPIECE OF ART THAT SHOULD NOT BE MISSED
NO CROWDS BETWEEN 7:00 AM AND 8:00 AM - GET HERE EARLY!
































THERE ARE NO PAINTINGS ON THE WALLS OR CEILING - THEY ARE ALL MOSAIC
GOLD MOSAIC.  OUR GUIDE SAID THAT ST. PETERS BASILICA HAS MORE GOLD THAN                     ANY OTHER PLACE IN THE WORLD  
ST. PETERS MOSAIC
WE WALKED UP THE STAIRWAY TO THE TOP OF THE DOME
TIGHT SPACES WHERE MICHELANGELO WALKED
















THIS DOOR ONLY OPENED EVERY TWENTY YEARS
THE BACK OF THE DOOR IS CEMENTED UNTIL OPENED EACH 20 YEARS

TOMB OF POPE JOHN PAUL
ATTENDED MASS AT THE TOMB OF JOHN PAUL
ALL OF THE FORMER POPES ARE LAID TO REST AT ST. PETERS BASILICA.  SOME ARE MUMMIFIED.
VATICAN GUARDED BY THE SWISS GUARD


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments and feedback