April 27, 2005 - Mediterranean Trip - Day 14

(Vatican and Assisi)

So we got to the Vatican over an hour before it opened. There were 6 people in line for the Sistine Chapel in front of us (though a couple cut in line, later).
We finally get in to see the beautifully painted ceilings and the most amazing collection of paintings and sculpture!

Seriously, this is the ceiling for the entryway - not even the Sistine.

We ducked out a window to see the dome of St. Peter's.

They have several maps of the world as they knew it 'back in the day.' This is only Italy, but they had the New World as of the early 1800s.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. See "the Devine Touch" in the center...(?)
Don't complain about the quality; a certain mother of mine took this against the wishes of the Vatican (sans flash). Photography is stricly prohibited.

Walkway of art as we left...

After leaving the Sistine Chapel and surrounding buildings, this was the cool ramps we descended.

We heard from the staff that the new pope would make his first weekly Wednesday audience at 10:30. It was 9:45. I asked if he would be on-time, or what... They responded that the previous pope (JP2) was typically :45-:60 late. I wanted to leave, but luckily I was out-voted 4:1.
There were a few people there. We waited. We waited. I fell asleep. Then the strangest thing happened. The TV screens on the sides started playing stock-footage of the pope on a non-bullet-proof Popemobile cruising around the square.
People around us started getting up and looking for him like it was 'real.'
Then we saw this little white head gliding along a couple of feet above over the crowd.
Wow! This was unprecended...

Bill and mom ran up and took pictures close-up.
Looks like Horatio is concerned about a 6'3" caucasian jerily thrust his hand upward. Luckily Bill only had a camera and got this and the following two shots.

If you want a printable copy of any of these pictures, right-click on them, select Properties, then look for the last part of the "URL," which will look something like this "05042724b.jpg" - then email the name to me and I'll print/email you a copy.

Pope Benedict XVI close-up.

Pope Benedict XVI very close up!

He spoke for a long time in many languages.
You can see him on the screen and on the third-from-the-left of the three chairs together.

The same fountain from yesterday.
Seriously, this made the top-10 list of Rome fountains...(?)

After a serious ordeal (most was getting the rental car out of the hotel lot, then out of Rome), we get to Assisi.

This (and the previous shot) is the Basilica di San Francesco.

Inside the Basilica.
He was the founder of the Franciscan order of monks/friars... the ones that wear the brown robes with ropes like Friar Tuck.

Assisi from the Basilica.

Jill on a wall.

A view of the Umbrian countryside, overlooking part of the Basilica.

Looking back at the Basilica.
I know that is a lot of shots of it, but it was cool - and the focal point for the town.

The streets of Assisi.

Jill and Carey do the town, right before mom, our official Gelato-spotter spots a gelati.

After the gelati, we start looking for the car

We walk down some stairs.

Crappit! More stairs.

We found the car and made it back to the hotel.

More of the Umbrian countryside from the hotel.

If you go to Assisi, I'll tell you where this is... Stay here!

The view of our 13th sunset from our room.

Next - Firenze/Florence, an artist's paradise!