Saturday, 12 January 2013

Our Day In Rome

As the family have all been to Rome before on separate occasions, today was organised as a free day for all. We formulated our plan of attack for our visit to the Vatican and St Peters Basilica. The children did not get to see either on our last trip in April 2010. To our surprise, we had 4 tag-alongs when we left the hotel at 730am. Michael, Ryuji, nana and grandpa had decided to come along. We caught a cab and got in line for entry into the Vatican Museum. We waited patiently for the opening time of 9am to come around. This was necessary as the Sistine Chapel was only open to the public until 12pm today. Security was surprisingly efficient. We went through very quickly and made the best decision of the day...which was to get the audioguides especially designed for children.  Hats off to whoever put the material together. The exhibits chosen and contents on the guide were superb. It was animated, engaging and interesting with just the right amount of detail. They were so good that halfway through, the adults wished they had got the children's version instead! 

Great audioguide for children!

Following the map is serious business

First room for the morning


Da Vinci

The children completely captivatedd

4000 years old....

as was this...

The crowds on the way to the Sistine Chapel. This was a quiet moment...enabling me to take a photo quickly

We had to really move to get to the Sistine Chapel before it closed. If crowds today were that of low season, I would hate to be here in peak season. It was a struggle to get to the Chapel with the family all staying together. However, it was well worth the effort. It was absolutely divine. The Sistine Chapel had been cleaned recently and the frescoes just popped out with bright colours. We then stopped for lunch and to rest tired feet which had been on the move the whole morning. The children thoroughly enjoyed their time at the Vatican Museum  There was not one complaint from the moment we entered until the time we left at 2:30pm. After lunch, my suggestion of leaving was shot down with pleas to stay and see more of the museum! Jonah, as usual, had his own interpretation of what he saw. In the Raphael rooms, he exclaimed excitedly that he found Princess Leia from Star Wars. I'll let the photo explain what he saw...For us, at least it was proof that he WAS looking. 

The difference after lunch AFTER the Sistine Chapel had closed!

Pretty asymmetrical arched doorway

Things were at a more...leisurely pace after lunch

Amazing tapestries

Ceilings of colour everywhere

Ceiling in the Raphael rooms

Famous artwork...

...reduced to "Princess Leia". "See...that's her hair"

Another Raphael to the eyes of a 4 year old boy. "That boy is a good boy because he is holding his mummy's hand. That boy is naughty. That's why he is getting a smack"

Children still going strong after lunch!

And finally...we exit!

We left the Vatican Museum and made our way to St Peter's Basilica. I had forgotten how awe-inspiring it was and was kicking myself for forgetting my wide angle lens again! Photos really would not have done the Basilica,one of the largest churches in the world, any justice. We were so glad that we were able to show the children such an amazing creation.

We barely got home via taxi when it was time to venture out again for dinner. We finally succumbed to having chinese food. My father was happy to be able to converse in Chinese and everyone was happy to have some noodles and rice. We walked back to our hotel, excited about finally going on our cruise tomorrow! We are all looking forward to two sea days before we are at it again....Did I mention our welcome email from our cruise concierge to confirm our pillow selection?? I had better not get used to this! (Memory pillow, black tea, regular coffee please)

St Peter's Basilica

The impressive dome on which is inscribed with Matthew 16:18

Each letter is 7 feet tall


Happy family with St Peters Square

...and then the Basilica

Swiss Guard

The nearby Castel Sant'angelo