No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican. No matter your religion, or even lack there of, St Peter’s Basilica is awe inspiring.
On a sunny morning, it was pleasant waiting in line to get through security. It was predicted to be over an hour wait but we moved along in 30 minutes – a benefit of visiting in November!
The Atrium, or Narthex, is larger than most churches.
The Holy Door, on the left, is opened only every 25 years.
St Peter’s is the largest church in the world; the nave is two football fields long! What is most fascinating is how perspective is used so your eye does not “see” how big the space is. The statues near the floor are around 15 feet tall. The ones above them are almost twice that tall but they look the same size from your vantage point near the floor. The letters in gold around the base of the arched ceiling and the base of the dome are over 6 feet tall. The dome (430 ft) is higher than a football field is long.
The bronze canopy (baldacchino) over the alter, designed by Bernini, is as tall as a seven-story building (98 ft). The dove window (6 ft) behind the alter was also designed by Bernini.
The side aisles are lined with chapels, tombs and artwork.
And here, behind protective glass, is Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Crowds linger here. It’s hard to turn away.