I woke up at 5 in the morning for my family private mass in St. Peter's Basilica. I was feeling cranky because I've lost my suitcase from the flight between Amsterdam and Rome the day before. Which mean I didn't have clothes, my beauty case & the essentials, phone charger and the most important my camera charger. I know I should have packed them into my cabin bag. I've never thought I would lost my suitcase during such short flight (only 2 hours) and also I took the best airline in Netherlands. I thought they were very reliable but I couldn't be more wrong! It seems that lost luggage happens quite often in this airline.
And it took them 3 days to find and send my luggage back with broken luggage lock and a lot of my stuffs were gone . Booooo :(
Anyway, back to the story about Vatican city, shall we?
I met Tina, my local escort from Jolly International in the bus station around 6.30 and heading to Vatican city. It was very quiet when we arrived, there were only few people. Felt like the whole place was mine :p
I was in awe because the basilica is huge and so beautiful. More than I had in my mind. The architecture, interiors, details and everything was just amazing.
|sunrise in Vatican City|
|quiet morning in St. Peter's Basilica|
The private mass was scheduled at 7.30am and was lead by Father Syl. He's from Poland but he speaks fluent Indonesian. He took us to the chapel beneath St. Peter's Basilica which we had to go through some "Man in Black" security point on the way. This is not open for public, so you must have special arrangement to enter the basement of the basilica. We walked pass Vatican Grotto which is tombs for St. Peter and all the popes who have passed away. It felt like walking through a secret tunnel in Angels & Demons movie :p
It's forbidden to take pictures so this is the only shot I managed to sneak...
|St. Peter's Basilica underground|
The elevator brought us to the top of the church which is the base of the cupola. Through the fence, I looked down on the people inside the church. Very small, looks like ants.
In the beginning of the climb was easy but it was getting harder when we almost reach the top part. The ceiling is tilting inwards due to the curvature of the dome so it wasn't easy to walk straight. We had to stop couple times because we felt dizzy.
|peeping down through the fence|
|the ceiling is tilting inwards|
The 360 degree panoramic view from the top was undoubtedly stunning. It was worth all the pain and jello legs we've got after climbing the stairs. From the top of cupola, we could clearly see that Vatican city is key shaped. I didn't know about that before, did you ?
It's the symbol to represent "Key of Heaven" which was received by Saint Peter from Jesus.
|view from the top of St. Peter's Basilica|
|the key shaped Vatican City|
|I was on top of that cupola (dome)|
|Pontifical Swiss Guards of Vatican City|
After lunch we made our way to Vatican Museum. It's among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic church throughout the centuries.
This museum is huge, there are 54 galleries, or salas, in total, with the Sistine Chapel,being the very last sala within the museum. The queue at the entrance was quite crazy. I was really glad that Tina has already bought the fast track ticket, so we didn't need to queue.
|some Roman sculptures|
|the Egyptian mummy|
|spiral exit at Vatican Museum|
I had a great day in Vatican City that I even forgot about my lost luggage for a while. There were many things to see and to learn in such a small city (or country?). Now I can check one item off my bucket list. And I will put another new item which is "Revisit Vatican City", simply because it has captured my heart :)