The Chronicles of Rome, Part VI – The Sistine Chapel

You see, the thing with Rome is that it’s Rome. That makes no sense. I quite frankly don’t know how to describe Rome. Rome is just one of those places that everyone (right?) dreams to visit someday, and when you’re finally there, it’s just as amazing as you expect it to be, just with a lot more tourists than you imagined in your head. Kind of like Paris in that way, but Paris is a lot more spread out than Rome is, so you don’t feel all that crowded at all times. Maybe I’m just saying that because this post is about the Sistine Chapel and let me tell you – the journey to see the Chapel was…worth it, yes, but harrowing in the sweatiness and close proximity of tourists, tourists, everywhere.

I checked out the Vatican on my second day in Rome – the last full day I would have in Rome, actually, as I headed out pretty early the next morning after that. Not sure if this is the best way to go about traveling, certainly, but I had no idea that I was going to actually end up in the Vatican, lol – my preferred method of traveling is still alone, with a camera and a map. Seems to work out pretty well for me usually.

The Vatican was actually smaller than I pictured it – it literally is just a couple of walls with huge, historic monuments nestled safely inside. More on that later, I think, but firstly – the Sistine Chapel.

In order to get to the Sistine Chapel, you have to – have to – go through the entire Vatican Museum. It’s a lot of walking through a lot of stuff that would be gorgeous and awe-inspiring (I’m assuming) on its own but pales in comparison to what’s at the end of the rainbow – the Sistine Chapel. Everyone just rushes through stuff that would be considered the pearl of the city elsewhere. Such as, you know, no big deal, the School of Athens.

Jeez.

Like this stuff – just ceilings of straight up gilded gold and people just hurrying through to see the Chapel. I admit, I was one of them. But like everyone else, I needed to get back out there and see the rest of Rome!

I’m no artsy person, so I don’t know – but are tapestries really a thing?


How unfortunate, despite everything I just said, I rushes through the other pictures of everything else in the Vatican Museum (there was a bit of modern religious art at the end, lol, where people just sat and laughed for a bit before hurrying onwards. It was…I don’t know. Depressing in a way. Someone else’s life work reduced to a quick bathroom break before the “real thing”.

But nevertheless – the Sistine Chapel. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of it, and perhaps I’m crossing a line here, but I tell it like I saw it, and everyone was taking pictures. Every once in a while, the guard would yell really loudly for everyone to shut up (you weren’t allowed to talk in the the Chapel either…?) and to put away their cameras, but I swear one guy looked directly at me and couldn’t care less that I was taking pictures.

I did find out from some girls I met in Florence that taking pictures of the artwork does actually destroy them. I don’t know if that’s true and the only person that I know of to ask would be Jee – maybe I should ask her – but I’d rather not destroy centuries old artwork for some photos that aren’t even comparable to other photos of the actual thing online. 

But since I did it already, here’s the Sistine Chapel, from my camera:

Yeah, it’s kind of huge. I should’ve taken a picture of everyone standing there. It was madness.

And then dozens of more rooms of things that people didn’t really care about after the Chapel. :( I’m sorry I don’t care more.

I got yelled at for stepping out onto some balcony to take this one, lol~

But at least the staircase was pretty.

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