A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Vatican City

Monday, November 14, Rome

The Vatican. First of all, don't try to go exploring on your own. The Swiss Guard told me so in no uncertain terms. Second, no one knows any reasons for why things are - I already asked. They just follow orders without question.

Note: If the Swiss are so neutral, why are they guarding an entity like the Vatican, a separate country and one of the more controversial groups on the Earth? Also, why do they where those huge floppy hats and what's stashed in those hats?

At first I waited in line for 20 minutes to get into St. Peter's Basillica, which to say the least is impressive. It really gives a sense of mighty things being afoot. 10' sculptures line the walls along with huge murals and all manner of scrollwork and decoration. Near the far away ceiling more sculptures sit, literally hanging on the wall along a ridge where they seem to be lounging about. There is a massive podium at the far end as well as a rather gaudy alter beyond that. Impressive, and free, a bonus.

I exited the Basillica down the front steps where you can't help but feel the power as you look down on the huge square, fountains, throngs of people, the huge spire in the middle. I could see how men and groups or factions would crave such insane power. And perhaps only an egotist would accept such a thing. Hmm.

Next I had to stand in another line that ran around 4 blocks to get in to the Vatican Museum. 30 or 40 minutes later I was able to enter. if you can call it that. A better word would be herded. I can now emphathize with cattle. Funny, at a place to admire some great works of art of mankind, you were dehumanized in order to do so. I wasn't sure how to feel, though frustrated and annoyed were at the top of the list.

Not only could you not deviate from the one and only path available, you had to go at a pace slow enough to madden a stump. There are of course some great works of art, including the Hall of Maps and the famous Sistine Chapel - which I might add is only great in its size and scope, rather than its individual painting prowess. I'll give old Michael props for having the patience, that's for sure. But even he admitted to wanting to work on something else.

But it was worth seeing. The Sistine Chapel that is. I also wanted to see the section of Modern Religious work, and so after asking a guard, they pleasently took me down an elevator and insisted I had to go through the 20 minute line and go through the Sistine Chapel yet again. I also viewed some of Raphel's rooms, which were also impressive in their scope. Yet my 'Beatles Theory' holds true here - just because someone's influence is great in a genre doesn't neccessarily make them the best.

The amount of sculptures, crosses, coffers, globlets, globes, and other trinkets is massive and I would study them further, but the museum closes at a ridiculous early hour of 1:45. You can't even gain entry after 12:30. Besides, it's far too cramped and too busy and nothing is labled that well. An old bowl on a pedestal is fine, but without some explaination of why it's important, it still remains an old bowl.

All in all, I doubt I'd visit the Vatican Museum again unless I were invited (very very unlikely) or had a special pass to study after the museum closed (also highly unlikely). I would suggest if you care to visit and you don't mind long lines and crowded rooms where you can't move, check it out. If you don't care for those things, there are a plethora of museums and galleries in Rome that will easily sate your thrist for works from Raphael, Michaelangelo, Titian, etc,.

- C


  • At 7:47 AM , Blogger GoneFibbing said...

    Hey man, a happy birthday to you! I was "stuck" in Vegas last week, and I think it was harder to find a computer there than it is for you. I was able to barter a few minutes off of a fellow geek convention goer for a leftover bottle of Starbuck Frappacino from the morning breakfast...but alas it wasn't long enough to post. So, a belated Happy Birthday to you. I did miss our annual celebration this year...but Spain is so much more exciting than that. - D

  • At 7:50 AM , Blogger GoneFibbing said...

    And Rome too... Is the Senate in session? You have to see a Gladiator fight while you are there. Er...too much HBO...

  • At 8:39 AM , Blogger Cor said...

    I knew it! Rome it is. Well, Racine is no Rome, as you know. We were hit with insane winds this past weekend. 40 mph. Plus, the temp. has dropped a lot. All seems well, however. All Central Division teams won, but only the Vikes still look really bad. Ah, well. Continue to enjoy your walk-a-bout. Food, damn it...tell me about the food!

  • At 3:57 AM , Blogger Lynn said...

    Hey there! Finally took time to read everything! And, belated Happy b-day! Alan was home for a week, and left for parts unknown on his (their) b-day, first one apart in 22 years, tough on both. Sounds like you are having a grand time! Take care! Love ya...Lynn

  • At 11:33 AM , Blogger Patchalito said...

    I admire your ability to pursue your dreams. As long as I've known you, every time you fall, you land on your feet. This adventure of yours is a shining example of that. Be strong brother! This site is a great read! Your writing has grown tons since last I've read your book in college. Keep it up man!

  • At 11:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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  • At 8:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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