Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rome, Day 2 - Part 2 of 3 ~ 4/3/14

After leaving the Sistine Chapel, our tour guide led us towards St. Peter's Basilica. We could see the lines of those waiting to climb to the dome. We could have gone up after our tour but seeing as there was no elevator we opted out, this time.
We stayed on the main floor and tried to take in everything we could see. It was an incredible and overwhelming space.
This is the holy door, and a detail from it, which is opened only on special occasions.
John Paul II is entombed on the main floor, and here I am with my patron saint, St. Helena :-)
Michelangelo's Pieta was fascinating to see. Check out how large and muscular Mary is.

Here's a view of the Basilica from St. Peter's Square, and two photos of the window from which the Pope makes his appearances.
It was great being in St. Peter's Square, especially with no crowds!
We headed on down the road (via della conciliazione) to take a break and came across the Universal Bar with outdoor seating. We ordered beer, Antipasto and Spaghetti. What else?
We were enjoying our lunch but started to notice the increasing number of police and crowds, and the road being roped off.
Our server informed us that some king or queen was going to visit the Pope, and after a quick google search, we discovered that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were headed this way. The motorcade soon arrived.
I had to pick my side of the street to try and get a picture and as the odds would have it, I didn't get Liz.
With the excitement over and our lunch finished, we walked over to Castel Sant'Angelo (Mausoleum of Hadrian), with many fascinating and beautiful things to see along the way and back.
Before we headed back to the hotel and dinner, we had one more stop to make, The Pantheon. And we happily reflected on what was an amazing day so far as we headed that way.

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