As my friend Frazer said (after the fact), I should have brought something to lie on to really appreciate (and enjoy) the Sistine Chapel.
My neck is still suffering from all the looking up at the ceiling.
The day started well. When we left the apartment at nine o’clock in the morning, it was still pleasantly cool.
We were able to park close to the Vatican Museums, and armed with our on-line tickets, we walked right past the lines of people queuing to get in.
My husband has an impish side to him, and when he sees that other people are queuing while he isn’t, even though he tries not to smile too openly, you can tell that he loves it.
“You know, we only paid for four tickets, Andrew got in free,” I said on our way up the escalator, missing him physically but feeling his presence. Quick to see the (sick) point, the others laughed.
There was so much to see, but all we were really interested in, was the Sistine Chapel itself. Florentina, who did a semester in Florence when she was at NYU and took a class in art history, showed me how to tell a Michelangelo painting from a non-Michelangelo painting. For one thing Michelangelo’s people have a lot of movement and you can clearly see their muscles, but if you want to know more than this basic info, please take a class or read about it on the internet.
When we thought we had seen everything, and were enjoying one last look at the Vatican Gardens, I asked a kind guard what the word Pinacoteca meant. We had seen several signs to the Pinacoteca, but none of us, not even I, knew what it meant. Hugh thought is was a Pinetum, but I told him that Pinetum in Italina is Pineta, not Pinacoteca.
I knew that it was nothing to do with wine either, because that would have been an Enoteca, not Pinacoteca.
“It is a horse shoe-shaped succession of nine rooms, and in the last room is the painting of the Transfiguration of Raffaello,” he explained smiling.
“Oh, in that case we better see it. You too Robert,” I said to my groaning younger child.
It was a good painting, like the many before it, but… I might as well tell you here and now, none of them are my thing! All I kept thinking was how much all that stuff was worth.
If that painting was mine, I kept saying, I would sell it, and quite frankly, I would.
Having found a secret door that led straight into St. Peter, we decided that having seen it five years ago, we didn’t need to see it again today. But the discovery of this door was exciting nevertheless.
Next we drove around Rome carefully avoiding going through any of the many new, fandangled, Italian technology (which wasn’t here five years ago) and… Look it is late and we have taxi coming at six o’clock tomorrow morning to take us to Fiumicino airport for our flight to London. As much as I would like to, I am too tired to continue writing and I am in much need of sleep…. zzzzzz
To be continued,