After touring St. Peter’s Basilica, we headed over to the Vatican Museum which would eventually (many hours later) lead us to the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is considered one of the best museums in the world. Sadly, I am not very knowledgeable in the area of art – I most definitely should have paid closer attention to my Humanities class in high school (sorry Mrs. Nicholades – to make it worse I know I’m butchering her name). However, I most definitely can appreciate the art that I’m seeing even if I can’t explain or understand the meaning of the work of art itself.
The Museum was founded in the 1600s and is a maze of rooms that eventually leads up to the Sistine Chapel. The Museum was mobbed when we were there – a slow shuffle from room to room. Kind of like going thru Jordans Furniture, you must walk thru all the rooms to get to your final destination. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Certainly I was impressed by all the works of art and there were many jaw dropping moments when looking at the walls and ceilings that you just couldn’t imagine someone creating such magificent things and not only that but preserving them for hundreds and in some cases thousands of years. However by literally the 50th room (there are 54 rooms in the museum) I was about done and ready to get on with the show – the Sistine Chapel.
Eventually we came to the Sistine Chapel. Unfortunately pictures are not allowed in the Chapel. I will say that again, I’m not that knowledgeable but after 2 hours of facing painting after painting, I don’t think I appreciated it. There are people who will read this and damn me for my lack of enthusiasm about this national treasure. However, I found it a bit anticlimatic. I wish we had seen the Chapel first. By then I wouldn’t have been exhausted and overexposed to all these amazing works of art. I also have to say and maybe this is my ignorance (though I’ve spoken to several people since and they also thought this), that I had expected the Chapel to be round. It is not in fact round, but is rectangular.
Anyways, not to downplay this part of our whirlwind tour of Rome because I’m so glad we got a chance to see these phenominal works of art, but we still have the rest of the day to cover (between the museum and St. Peter’s we were done by around 1PM) and all of Sunday as well!!