Sunday, May 31, 2009

In Rome

Day 1 is Rome. My sister and I arrived at 11. We found our hotel (which was a little complicated) and were settled in by 2. At that point, we went out exploring. We're staying at Hotel Vatican Holiday tonight. It's (not surprisingly) close to the Vatican. We were originally intending to go to the Vatican museums, but you need a lot of time to do that and it was getting late. Instead, we stopped for lunch, then went to St. Peter's Basillica.

If you haven't been there, it's hard to understand how big the place is. The church is tiny compared to the square. The church, however, is ridiculously huge.

We got there around 2:30, and the line stretched about half way around the square. It moved quickly, though, and we got in about 20 minutes later.

The first thing we did was visit the tombs of the popes. You can also see the columns from the original basillica many hundreds of years ago.

The tombs weren't that interesting - they were too crowded, and Pope John Paul II's tomb was a bit of a spectacle (as in people were hovering around that one in particular). Generally, if you feel like you don't get jostled by enough strangers in your day to day life, I would recommend the tombs on a Sunday.

After that, we went in to the Basillica itself.

Have I mentioned that's is huge? Beautiful, but huge and lacking seating.

Anyway, we finished going through it around 3:30, and decided to stay for mass at 4.

Eventually, we figured out where mass was - it was in an area behind the main altar. You couldn't see it from behind the barricades (which were there, presumably, to keep people from wandering through the service), but it was the size of a normal large church.

Mass was in Italian. I didn't follow the sermon, but I gathered that it was Pentecost, and there was a lot of talk about the Holy Spirit (which is more than I remember when mass is in English sometimes).
We're resting in our hotel room now, but need to leave soon to meet up with our cousin.


  1. How awesome that you were able to see all these things! Looking forward to reading about the rest of your vacation adventures.

    BTW-I understand what you mean about not understanding a sermon at Mass. Even though I TRY to follow along, some days my mind really wanders.

  2. So many people I know have been to Rome in the last month [and I'm counting you in as "someone I know on the internets"]! I am the biggest Roman history junkie ever, but on my trip to Italy Rome was not in the cards. It's my next stop, though...

    Have a great time!

  3. Rome is an amazing city, and there's so much to see and do. The first time I was there, we were there for 4 days, and I admit by the end I just wanted to find food I didn't have to think about. This time was nice - two action-filled days - and I didn't feel cheated since I'd been there before.