(εδώ θα βρείτε την ανάρτηση στα ελληνικά)
most famous room in the Vatican Museums. Its frescoes – painted by some of the greatest Renaissance artists, like Michelangelo, Botticelli, Rosselli, Perugino – is breathtaking. The decoration of Capella Sistina was made in stages. At the begining, only the three walls were painted with rectangle frescos and the ceiling was depicted as a starry night.
The main subject of the 8,600 square foot ceiling is the «Genesis». It is divided into nine panels, each depicting a Biblically historical scene.
The completion of the decorations is done with the «Last Judgement» by Michelangelo, on the east wall of the Sistine Chapel. This massive fresco was started nearly 25 years after the ceiling. The artist covered two existing wall paintings in order to depict his vision of The Last Judgement, a composition that shows hell as described by Dante. Nude figures, saints and apostles surround an angry Christ, with the blessed on the left and the damned at the right. Because he depicted naked figures, the artist was accused of immorality and obscenity, just one month before his death. A censorship campaign was organized and one of Michelangelo’s students was tasked to cover the naked figures. This was removed in 1994, during the restoration works along with the smoke deposits (the official site of the Vatican Museums offers a Capella Sistina virtual tour experience, just click the link below).
The «Pieta», is one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, the only one that the artist ever signed. It depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his Mother Mary after Crucifixion. The sculptrure has survived many attacks and its showcased behind buletproof glass.
We skipped climbing to the Michelangelo’s dome despite the fact that the view is amazing from there. Getting to the dome you have to use the elevator until the base of the dome and then an extra narrow staircase. This staircase is so narrow that in same case you have to use a rope as extra hanlde. (if you are claustrophobic like me, DON’T even think about it).
just below the Renaissance basilica and above Constantine’s 4th century
basilica, the grottos contain chapels dedicated to various saints and tombs of
kings, queens and popes, dating from the 10th century. The holiest place is
Peter’s tomb, containing the «memory», built in the 4th century by
the Emperor Constantine, on the spot were the Apostle’s tomb was venerated. At the first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to visit Grottos – due to my Claustrophobia – but the space allthough low-ceilinged, was very bright lighted and all the walls were painted white. Overall, there was a sense of peace and calmness. This place is the holiest place I’ve ever been.
Due to the rain we didn’t see any Swiss Guard members nor we took a glimpse at their uniforms, designed by Michelangelo. With all the rain was difficult to walk at St. Peter’s Square, that is in front of the Basilica and we took only some photos quickly. Surrounded by two semicircular colonnades, that are linked to the Church with two rectangular buildings. In total there are 284 columns on which 140 statues are placed. The Square – a work of Bernini – took 12 years to complete. On each side there is a fountain while in the center of the square stands the – 4,000 years old – Vatican Obelisk, which is derived from Nero’s Hippodrome, place where St. Peter was martyred. It is said that at the base of the obelisk holds Caesar’s ashes and on its top are fragments of the True Cross. The square has a great allegorical meaning, as it symbolizes the embrace of the Church.
We had planned to visit St. Angelo Castle and have lunch at Trastevere but were to tired to walk and as the rain continued, we took the Metro and returned back to the Spanish Steps.
Before starting our afternoon walk, I had to try Pompi’s tiramisu. We had passed by this place so many times, that it was a shame not to taste its tiramisu. Almost all the Romans comes to Pompi for it’s tiramisu, that they serve in 3 flavors: Classic, Strawberry and Forrest Fruits. I had a classic one but Elias prefered to skip it and go for the Sacher Torte, which he hated (honestly not a great one at all).