For Day Five I made an online reservation at the Vatican Museums, a great way to avoid the long lineups. Better to spend 4 euros than wait hours in line.
Day Five was a Wednesday and Pope Francis was giving a Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square so I was swimming against the tide heading to the Museums instead of the square.
So much to see in the museums. The Catholic Church and Popes have acquired a lot of ancient Roman artifacts over the centuries.
I think I enjoyed myself most in the Museo Chiaramonti which was filled with an assortment of ancient Romans, many unknown, whose busts have survived the centuries.
The woman sported the most diverse and interesting hairstyles.
The men were varied as well, with dignitas and quirkiness on display.
Scattered through other rooms and courtyards were more stunning remnants of the Roman Empire.
One complaint I have about the Vatican Museums is the lack of signage for many of the artifacts. Possibly they don’t have provenance for all of their pieces but some description would be nice.
No lack of provenance for Rafael’s frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura of Rafael though. These date from 1508 to 1511.
I really was impressed by the Sistine Chapel. I saw it 33 years ago and all Michaelangelo’s frescoes had a smoky mutedness. They have been cleaned since and now the colours are vibrant and the paintings have come to life. But since no photo taking is allowed, I have none to offer.
Finally there were Roman mosaics in various rooms and here are some highlights.
After many hours in the museums I finally ventured outside into St. Peter’s Square.
Into the Basilica.
Then walked home via Castel Sant Angelo.