To say it was massive inside would be the understatement of the century.
The Pietà by Michelangelo. Dusty could have looked at this statue all day. We were able to get really close to it, and then got kicked out because that area was only for those having Mass. Whoops.
These are the people who were allowed back there.
That's one impressive dome. To put it into perspective, all the letters around the bottom of the dome and throughout the church are seven feet tall.
This "baldacchino" was Bernini's first work at St. Peter's. The structure is 98 feet tall (maaasive), and is claimed to be the largest piece of bronze in the world. It stands as a covering to the altar, creating a holy space above and around it.
Another of Bernini's works of art..."The throne of St. Peter."
Statue of St. Peter, with his lucky "kissable toe."
After touring the inside of the basilica, we decided to climb the dome. There is the option to take the elevator to the roof, but we decided to get a little exercise (and save a little money), and walk. This is the view from the rooftop.
As we were climbing the dome (320 steps to the top), the walls started to lean just a bit. Makes sense, but it was unexpected nonetheless.
When we got to the top of the dome, we were to only people there. Talk about another incredible "it feels like we're the only people in Rome" moment. The view was beautiful. A bit hazy, but beautiful.
That large rectangular building is the Vatican Musuem, with the Sistine Chapel on the end closest to me.
It was so romantic, I made Dusty smooch me.
The basilica guards' uniforms were pretty impressive.
These next several pictures are inside the Vatican Museum.
Laocoön and His Sons
The Belvedere Torso. Michelangelo used this statue for the inspiration of many figures he painted in the Sistine Chapel.
Statue of Hercules. During the Protestant Reformation, one Pope ordered fig leaves be placed on nude statues in an effort to appear more modest..
Artemis, goddess of fertility. She was worshiped by the citizens of Ephesus, which caused Paul to come there to preach. He was kicked out of the city before he could give his message, so he had to write a letter (known as Ephesians in the Bible) instead.
Awesome painting on one of the ceilings.
The Liberation of St. Peter
School of Athens
Outside the basilica. Being in focus is sometimes too much to ask, but we were there!
After touring the Vatican City, we grabbed some lunch before catching our train to Civitavecchia.