My little jubilee, the 50th country visited was Liechtenstein. And boy what a ceremony happened. The Principality of Liechtenstein and the Swiss Confederation were celebrating the 100 years of their common Dounae contract. We were about to cross the bridge that was built over the river Rhine, but we were stopped as the celebration was just…
Krapina is my hometown. Zagorje runs through veins. Kajkavian dialect is spoken out loud by my core. So please, allow me to show you a portion of heaven given to us people from Zagorje to enjoy, nourish, and remain proud. Krapina Krapina was first mentioned in 1193. It has always been a favorite site for…
This is a post of a lovely, walkable city that will charm all wine, gastronomy and history lovers. From Markets to Mustard! This capital of Burgundie is calling you to get all its tastes. And you will not know all of these existed! The province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until…
Avignon is a city on the Rhône river in the south of France. It is surrounded by walls of Avignon (French: Les Remparts d’Avignon) – a series of defensive stone walls that were originally built in the 14th century during the Avignon papacy and have been continually rebuilt and repaired throughout their subsequent history. We entered through Porte Saint-Michel. The…
This historical province of southeastern France, extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône to the west to the Italian border to the east; it is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It largely corresponds with the modern administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur . The largest city of the region and its modern-day capital is Marseille. Known for its diverse landscapes, miles of…
Michel de Notre-Dame, as we all know as Nostradamus, was an apothecary by profession, and published in the year 1555 a book called Les Prophéties (The Prophecies). In his collection of 942 poetic quatrains, he predicted various future events that experts, and many amateurs, find a way of interpreting into related events occurring in the present day. Some historical evidence suggests…
This is going to be a short post. Sanremo is a city on the west coast of Italy, in the province of Liguria. It is the capital of the Riviera dei Fiori or Riviera of Flowers. Its casino also makes it a sort of Italian version of Monte Carlo. This large building in Art Nouveau…
Vivid green pesto, great wine and fabulous walks … Genoa is a city of indulgence. Driving in the city, noticing it’s fabulous big secession buildings it reminded me of the importance of Italy: banks, trades, imports of goods and businesses… Genoa was a medieval rival to Venice. It’s not been primped for tourists like Venice, though.…
Rapallo was never on my list. I never thought there could actually be something about this city. It lies on the Ligurian Sea coast, just between Cinque Terre and Genoa. As a girl from Croatia, I know it from the history books as the Treaty of Rapallo was signed there, in Villa Pagana, formerly known as Villa Spinola. A treaty…
The five Cinque Terre villages are situated in northern Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, just 3 hours by train from Milan, Pisa and Florence. I have arrived by car and totally enjoyed the national park that spreads across the five villages. La Spezia My journey started in La Spezia. This was the very first stop as I…
Tintine was slowly climbing up the hills of San Marino. Not much pressure should have been put on this car as she had enough of the shocks in the last year or two. The hills around us were rising and soon we found ourselves surrounded by an amazing view. It was San Marino surrounded by…
My Life in Sicily finished after a year spent on this island. It was time to turn on my Tintine (a beautiful red car), hop on a ferry and say goodbye. I was nostalgic as a was driving through Reggio Calabria. But soon I was in Puglia – the region with the best Italian cheeses.…
When visiting Rome, inevitable to visit is the Vatican city. Having in mind my grandfather who visited Rome and Vatican in 1970’s, he was always telling me stories about this […]
When visiting Rome, inevitable to visit is the Vatican city. Having in mind my grandfather who visited Rome and Vatican in 1970’s, he was always telling me stories about this place. I was walking down the Via Leone IV thinking of him, reminding myself about the way he was telling his stories – I was giggling . He never managed to re-visit with me although we had this planned. Yet we did visited some other italian cities like Venice and Verona.
I started my sightseeing with Vatican Museum, full of gold and other presents from the countries that were giving these diplomatic presents to popes through centuries. The Vatican Museums is a maze of painted halls where all these gifts are placed for tourists to explore.
These Christian and art museums display works from the immense collection amassed by Popes (Pontifex Maximus – lat. the great bridge) throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display.
Like these tapistries… also mentioned as a key in the Imprimatur book about pope and political games of the times.
Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century. So I started from the beginning whcih is the gallery with gifts in animal shapes:
Or the room with atlases and globes, especially important and significant gifts of the times since the church was not accepting the scientific proofs of gravitation or Earth being round globe – these were the times of inquisition too, when church was spreading its ideology through the world literally holding the Bible in one hand and the sward in another. Just remeber the witch hunts and how many women were burned in the name of some witchcrafting….
One of the most important works of art is the statue of Laocoön and His Sons ancient sculpture ever since, excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed on public display in the Vatican. The work of art is showing the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents (biblical allegory).
It is kind of the prototypical icon of human agony in Western art, and unlike the agony often depicted in Christian art like the Passion of Jesus, this suffering has no redemptive power or reward. For example, the faces shown are actually not in agony at all: Charles Darwin pointed out that Laocoön’s bulging eyebrows are physiologically impossible because they are not matched with the struggling body.
Of course, it is possible to leave the gallerie and sit outside for a coffee on the terraces or beautiful gardens.
Wandering the maze of Vatican chambers I had on my mind one controversial pope that I read about in so many historical novel books: Pope Aleksander VI and his illegitimate son Cesare Borgia (15th century) – politician, and cardinal, whose fight for power was a major inspiration for The Prince by Machiavelli. He was the brother of beautiful Lucrezia Borgia; who has been used by their father for many political marriages in order to expand the Papal states.
So I bumped into this and my jar fell off:
In case you are interested more about the story of this controversial and power hungry family, there is a TV show called Borghia:
Moving to the reality, fun fact discovered is this antene which is actually a very strong radio transmitter from the Vatican, so the other radio stations are complaining about disturbances in transmissions.
After the galleris, my tour continued towards the Sistine Chapel famous by ceiling decorated by Michelangelo. The chapel is the location for papal conclaves and many other important services.
The ceiling’s various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of Bible and it’s scenes from Old and New Testament building the story of Christianity, which includes the large fresco The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall, also by Michelangelo, wall paintings by several leading painters of the late 15th century including Sandro Botticelli and Pietro Perugino, the whole illustrating much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which The Creation of Adamis the best known, having an iconic standing the hand of God and Adam being reproduced in countless imitations.
When being in Vatican, one symbol gets repetative at the entrances, walls, ceilings… crossed keys that represent the metaphorical keys of the office of Saint Peter, the keys of heaven, or the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, that, according to Roman Catholic teaching, Jesus promised to Saint Peter, empowering him to take binding actions. It is said that the pope is actually the predecessor of Saint Peter who is the first pope – the predecessor of Jesus Christ.
From the birds perspective, even the shape of Vatican Building has the form of the key:
It is said that Vatican hides some of the darkest secrets one can imagine.
Hence the inspiration for the book of Dan Brown: Inferno.
In continuation of symbolism and myths, the Pontifical Swiss Guard or also Papal Swiss Guard is offcial security force maintained by the Holy See that is responsible for the safety of the Pope, including the security of the Apostolic Palace.
The Pontifical Swiss Guard has its origins in the 15th century. Pope Sixtus IV (15th century) had already made an alliance with the Swiss Confederacy and built barracks in Via Pellegrino after foreseeing the possibility of recruiting Swiss mercenaries.
The best I kept for the end: Basilica of St. Peter. It is an Italian Renaissance church (designed partially by Michelangelo as well), the largest church in the world and the papal enclave.
The construction of basilica started in 4th century. Looking at the building you can spot 12 statues of apostoles on top. The statues of Saint Peter (left) and Saint Paul (right) are flanking the entrance stairs.
Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, one of Jesus’s Apostles and also the first Pope (as mentioned above). Saint Peter’s tomb is supposedly directly below the high altar of the Basilica.
I was actually very lucky visiting Vatican during the Jubilee of Mercy – which means every piglrim entering basilica’s Holy Door washed its sins.
It is actually a a Roman Catholic period of prayer seen by the Church as a period for remission of sins and universal pardon focusing particularly on God’s forgiveness and mercy.
The entrance and interior are the most stunning thing I have seen. Covered in marble and combined with the day lights makes an extremely atmosphere of holiness.
The remarkable work of art is Pieta – a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo (16th century). It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion – an important work as it balances the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism.
I also liked this reenactment of Saint Peter holding the keys of heaven – the bronze statue, attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio.
My second time in Vatican didn’t update much my initial trip. I learned some new facts and climbed the cupole. Just 551 steps to get there while in August. 🙂
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican remained pretty much the same too. I have noticed that some sttaues have been moved or protected more due to possible terrorist attacks.
I have also learned that the top ceiling is made of melted gold from the Maya civilisation.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest Christian church building in the world by the two latter metrics and the second largest by the first as of 2016. You can see the markings on the floor of the other significant churches of the world.
Also known as the Vatican Necropolis, The Tomb of the Dead or St.Peter’s Tomb, the area was discovered beneath St. Peter’s Basilica in the 1940s (around the time of World War II) when the Vatican commissioned excavations to be carried out there before Pope Pius IX was set to be buried in the space. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to make photos. Only around 250 visitors per day are permitted to enter the Necropolis. So, If you wish to visit the Vatican Necropolis, plan ahead.
One special thanks to our guide Paolo. He passed lots of knowledge and wisdom. 🙂 Especially in the Gallerie and Vatican Museums.
The School of Athens is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael’s commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It is representing philosophy, was probably the third painting to be finished there, after La Disputa (Theology) on the opposite wall, and the Parnassus (Literature). The painting is notable for its accurate perspective projection, which Raphael learned from Leonardo da Vinci (who is the central figure of this painting, representing Plato). The rebirth of Ancient Greek Philosophy and culture in Europe (along with Raphael’s work) were inspired by Leonardo’s individual pursuits in theatre, engineering, optics, geometry, physiology, anatomy, history, architecture and art. This work has long been seen as “Raphael’s masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the Renaissance”.
One can be weeks in the Papal Galleries as there are so many examples of world heritage. I remember passing the Picasso’s early paintings. Late, tired, heavy legs – one should come back again to explore more. Le ut cheer to all that with limoncello.
Wow! Just wow! What a place. I WANNA GO HERE SOMEDAY 🙂
This place is so incredible! It’s been a long time since I’ve been inside though.
Great info and photos! Thanks for taking me on a tour of Vatican City with you.
These pictures are just so lovely. I have always wanted to visit and these pictures make me want to plan that soon! Great job
very nice and amazing blog
This is amazing, thanks for the virtual tour.
Beautiful city, great clicks!! I would love to come to this city myself after your beautiful post on it.
Wow 😍 this is truly a remarkable site I would love to visit, for its beauty & history… although I am Muslim & in Islam we are not allowed to depict & draw pictures of angels or prophets, I can still appreciate the sheer beauty of this site! My great, great grandmother was Romany Italian & we were brought up as Roman Catholic… She wore modest clothing & I really admire stories my mother shared with me about her faith & have always wanted to visit for that reason! 😊
Thanks for sharing, great post & pictures!
The Romantic Rome.
I simply loved the architectures.
Rome is so beautiful a place to visit. What a magnificent building we have in Rome.
Only few people on this planet are unaware of this great city Vatican City, it has enrich history and worldwide famous culture ❤
These pictures are gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to travel to the vatican!
This place is so incredible!
Definitely on the top of my travel list!!
Dan Brown made sure I eagerly wait for exploring this place. Thanks for the insights.
Mystery and suspense introduced me to Vatican. Dan Brown urged me to learn more about it. Your post simply wants me to visit this beautiful and holy place.
I wanna go to the Vatican one day too!
Joy to the World
Fabulous! On my bucket list! 🙂
Heart winning 😊🤗
Your internet site has superb web content.
I bookmarked the site
This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!
Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am impressed!
Very useful info particularly the last section :
) I handle such info a lot. I used to be seeking this certain information for a very long time.
Thanks and good luck.
Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!
I am 38 year old mom Thank you so much! I love sucking dick btw hmu
That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!
I seriously love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own website and would like to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thanks!
Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!