While I prefer the quiet country scenes of Italy, I must admit that Rome is equally enchanting, especially when one enters the Vatican. There are simply too many wonderful pieces of art to take them all in. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is the crown jewel! Never have I seen such exquisite beauty. It boggles the mind to think of the years Michelangelo spent working on the beautiful scenes. Right before we went in, our guide did a wonderful job explaining some of the scenes to us, but once we entered the chapel, we were awe-struck. I could have looked for days. One interesting fact our guide told us was that a Japanese firm paid to have the entire ceiling cleaned in exchange for the copyright to the images until 2015. Thus, no photos were allowed. Next on our itinerary was a visit with the priest from St. Ann's church. Saint Ann was the mother of Mary, thus Jesus' grandmother. This talk was very informative and helped explained some of the sights we had seen. Next, a trip to Peter's burial in the Basilicia. Twenty thousand people visit this sight each day, so it was definitely crowded. While there, I spent some time reflecting on the trips Paul took to Rome and how long and tiresome that travel must have been. Mars Hill seems so far away. A visit with a former Swiss Guard and a viewing of the changing of the guards finalized our day. Tomorrow is our last day in Rome, and we get to experience it with a scavenger hunt through the city. As always...AMAZING!
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