Italy: Opulent Sights in the Vatican
Descending the Cairo Side – a novel of the traveling life
Available as an e-book on Amazon.com
The Vatican holds one of the world’s foremost collections of art, most of it eclipsed only in value by its pomp. The works have been brought together over the centuries by theft, skim, and other schemes that the city-state has felt useful to help with acquisitions.
1) Walking into the museum
They say the basement of the place may hold legendary histories and secrets of the world. The notion is an interesting one but you can be sure they don’t let casual visitors into the inner sanctums.
Of course one of the main attractions in the Vatican is the Sistine Chapel.
2) The ceiling of the Sistine
When I visited, some years before the latest restoration, you could sit down on the floor, have a smoke, and photograph at leisure. I imagine those days are long gone. But I liked the dark and muted colors much more than the newer version with its bright tones and light-filled surfaces.
In the museum are a great number of huge Belgian tapestries from the Middle Ages. These are worthy of note and most are astonishingly well-preserved.
3) Tapestry depicting map of Europe
But the sheer quantity of artifacts defies easy cataloging or explanation.
Frankly the place smells of ill-gotten wealth. The Catholic Church could probably end poverty in Europe by selling a small fraction of the museum’s contents.
5) Ducks unlimited, whatever