Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican

Tripoto
16th Apr 2011

Trevi Fountain

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Swiss Guards

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Trevi Fountain

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Oceanus (Trevi Fountain)

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Vatican Museum's beautiful ceiling.

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Judgement Day.

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Pieta

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

St. Peter's Basilica

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Model of the Vatican City.

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

Creation of Man.

Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das
Photo of Inspired by Italy: Rome and the Vatican by Ashmita Das

There is something about Italy; something in the air. The sun seems different; the air feels different. After two long flights- Kolkata to Dubai and then from Dubai to Rome, we finally landed at Leonardo Da Vinci- Fiumicino Airport at eight in the morning. My mother and I, we were travelling alone. There was certain excitement in the prospect of an “All Girls Trip”. Stepping out, I looked around and soaked up the vibrant energy of the place. All the fatigue from our ten-hour long journey disappeared. The personnel sent from our hotel finally found us. We got into the car and thus, began my most memorable trip till date.

Even though my eyes were heavy and I could feel sleep creeping up on me, I forced myself to stay awake. I didn’t know where to look. I felt like I was missing out if I was looking on one side of the road and not the other. I can't claim to have gone off the beaten track and down something special. We went on a guided tour and did everything a typical tourist would do. But, what I can share is my experience and what i took away from the place as a person. This trip was a part of a much larger two-month long trip to Europe, but, I can say that these two places were my favorite part.

The Vatican City is the perfect blend of art, culture, intellect and religion. The home some of the most famous works of art, the most important church in Christianity, a culture that dates back to a few centuries and the Pope himself, the Vatican is an outstanding example of functionality with humanity. An entire religion stays alive through the means of this one miniscule city. One cannot help but admire the power of human faith and determination. The reality is that the Vatican City is every bit as beautiful as the books and films describe it to be. Rather, the print media does not do it enough justice. One has to visit the place to experience its splendor. I did not think a place could have dignity, the Vatican proved me wrong. Everything about the place excudes poise; starting from the architecture to the security personnel.

Finally, we headed back to our hotel in the heart of Rome. After three days in Italy, we headed towards Switzerland.The country has a way of making you feel at home. Rome to me is a city that I would love to go back again. There is something special about the cobbled pathways, the bustle of city life, the faint smell of pasta and pizza and being surrounded by ancient Roman architecture that draws me to not only Rome, but also Italy in general. They say all roads lead to Rome; I would like to believe it is true. I want to come back here someday and find my own adventure.

This trip was from so long ago that I had a little difficulty tracking down all of the pictures on my laptop (I still believe in keeping everything in print). I've put up whatever pictures I've found!

P.S.- The only tip I have is KEEP YOUR WALLET VERY CLOSE. Keep copies of your passport and visa (if you believe in keeping your passport with you), do not carry your passport around, it might turn out to be a very bad idea.

The legendary Spanish Steps were on the way to our hotel. I’ve always pictured it in a certain way, after watching the film “Roman Holiday”. I had to make the chauffeur stop the car. The thrill of walking up and down those steps is inexplicable. I half expected to bump into Gregory Peck. There was an aura of romanticism surrounding the place. There were couples sitting on the steps, absolutely unaware of their surroundings. It was crowded, but so very beautiful.
The Trevi Fountain was a five-minute walk away from our hotel. Legend says that if you make three wishes and throw a coin into the fountain, all your wishes come true. It also means that the person will definitely come back to Rome. It is like forming a lifelong magical bond with the city. The Trevi Fountain was crowded with tourists from all over the world. There were pretty cafes and restaurants surrounding the place. It is a magnificent piece of architecture; one cannot help but feel a little intimidated. Oceanus, the God of all water is depicted in the center. I felt like a tiny speck in front of the colossal edifice.
Photo of Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Italy by Ashmita Das
Photo of Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Italy by Ashmita Das
Photo of Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Trevi, Rome, Italy by Ashmita Das
We joined a tour group that we’d booked for in advance and hopped onto a bus. Thus, began our journey to the heart of Roman Catholicism, art and enamoring culture; our journey to the sovereign city-state of Vatican City. Security was very high and there was an air of importance. The military protection of the Vatican is provided by Italy. The city has no armed forces of it’s own. The Swiss Guards are solely in charge of the Pope’s protection.
Photo of Vatican City by Ashmita Das
Photo of Vatican City by Ashmita Das
Founded in the 16th century by Pope Julius II, the Vatican Museums is the most visited museum in the world. The renowned Sistine Chapel is on the visitor route to the Museum. The museum houses a variety of work by the most famous artists and sculptors the history of the world has ever seen. It has Leonardo Da Vinci’s St. Jerome in the Wilderness, Raphael’s Madonna of Foligno and Caravaggio’s Entombment, to name a few. I was left in awe of magnanimity of the place. I felt like I was right in the middle of history, like I was at the center of the world. But there was downside to this museum. The sheer number of people made this experience a little less than peaceful. There are all these amazing paintings and frescoes, but you hardly get time to analyze. The sea of people make it difficult to stand in one place and admire a piece of art.
Photo of Vatikanische Museen, Viale Vaticano, Rome, The Vatican by Ashmita Das
After navigating through the museum, we finally reached the most important part of it, the Sistine Chapel. The wall on which the much-famed The Last Judgment, by Michelangelo, is painted looms out slightly over the viewer, and is meant to be somewhat fearful and to instill piety and respect for God's power. That piece inspires nothing but admiration. The artwork is astounding and nothing rivals it. But again, the crowd dampened the experience. But, this is where I'll explain to you, the perks of being five-feet tall. I walked right to the back of the room and blocked out the crowd. Once you focus on just piece of art, everything else fades away. It's almost like The Matrix, everything slows down. Concentrate enough and you feel like you're a part of Creation of Man.
Photo of Sistine Chapel, Viale Vaticano, Vatican City by Ashmita Das
Photo of Sistine Chapel, Viale Vaticano, Vatican City by Ashmita Das
Photo of Sistine Chapel, Viale Vaticano, Vatican City by Ashmita Das
The entire interior of St. Peter's is lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture and gilding. The Basilica contains a large number of tombs of Popes and other notable people, many of which are considered outstanding artworks. There are also a number of sculptures in niches of the chapel including Michelangelo’s Pieta. The dome is the most outstanding feature of the Basilica. Not only is the art inside the Basilica overwhelming, but also the pure size and grandeur is tremendous. The beauty is indescribable. No photograph can ever capture it; you have to be there to experience it and believe it. It is the perfect blend of art and religion. Even though I am a staunch atheist, I felt a certain spirituality in the air. There was reverence in the eyes of the believers. There was devotion for Christ and there was admiration for the art and architecture. It was like two worlds were coalescing.
Photo of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Ashmita Das
Photo of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Ashmita Das
There were tourists clicking innumerable pictures. One thing that was missing was the hoards of sellers trying to sell little trinkets and souvenirs. It was a welcome change. Even though it is named the St. Peter’s square, it is shaped like a sphere. Around it, on the road, there were plates with the different zodiac signs. It was amusing trying to find our own signs, in the midst of the sea of people. There were artists there, trying to capture the beauty of the place. Sitting in a quaint corner, unaffected by the crowds, they would continue with their work. Unfortunately, none of the works were for sale.
Photo of St. Peter's Square, Vatican City by Ashmita Das
4 Comment(s)
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How did you applied visa?
Sat 05 28 16, 20:50 · Reply · Report
Hi I'm also planning to go there. We will there at 7:30 am at FCO. Is it possible to visit colossoium and Roman forum on same day?
Sat 05 28 16, 20:49 · Reply · Report
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David Meijer
Ello lady
Tue 12 30 14, 09:48 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of David Meijer
David Meijer
Ello lady
Tue 12 30 14, 09:48 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·