October 28th, 2021
Hight's Sabbatical Pictures

Part 10: The Vatican


After the Gaeta conference, Roomet and I had to travel back to Rome to catch our flight the next day. As a result, we had two half days to explore Rome. On the first day, we decided to visit the Vatican. This is a picture of the line to get into the Vatican museum. We waited 2 1/2 hours to gain admission. We had to turn several corners yet and had already moved several hundred feet by the time I took this photo.

Once inside, the museum is admittedly spectacular (one wonders what might have otherwise been done with the wealth of the church, but there is something to be said for the church at least protecting it). This is just one hall lined with ancient statuary in the Vatican Museum.

The ceilings of all the halls and rooms are adorned with paintings and sculptures. Here is one representative sample.

The main courtyard inside the museum. I am on the second floor of one wing taking the picture from a window.

I have always loved Raphael's Sculo de Athena (see the philosophy dept website for details). Now I have seen the original (above). The painting covers an entire wall. Not long after this room we saw the Sistine Chapel (you were not allowed to take pictures there). It was good, but this was the highlight for me.

Roomet and I climbed nearly 600 steps to get to the top of St. Peter's basilica. From that vantage point I took many pictures of Rome, including this one of St. Peter's square.

Inside St. Peter's basilica. Micheangelo's Pieta is housed here as well. The church is enormous - this is one small part of the main church.

Looking back from St. Peter's square to the plaza and the outside of St. Peter's basilica. We did not leave until after 5pm or so, and the crowds were thinning. Earlier in the day the area was packed with people.

Walking back to our hotel we visited the famous Trevi Fountain. In Rome you wander around narrow streets and almost randomly distributed in the city are ancient and medieval sites.

The Pantheon in the center of Rome. A Roman building, it was preserved mainly because it was converted into a church. With few exceptions, if ancient architecture survived it is because it was appropriated by the church for some function.

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