13 July, 2015
A trip to Rome would not be complete without a tour around the riches and relics of the Vatican. Once you get through the heavily intense security, you step into a secluded and peaceful state, and you come to realise that the whole complex is a massive and thriving museum which – somewhere amongst all those buildings and corridors and rooms and doors – just so happens to also house the Pope.
The Vatican Museums, i Musei Vaticani, are incredibly impressive and enclose some of the most beautiful artistic pieces. You name it, the Vatican has it. There are outdoor installations, beautifully painted rooms and halls of archaeological pieces, spanning hundreds of years of history and culture.
The amount of history and learning contained within those walls is striking, and I was in awe as our tour guide led us through the many public rooms of the Vatican. We barely scratched the surface of the thousands of valuable pieces contained in the complex, and were able to visit only a portion of the rooms, though I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff that we were shown.
During our visit to the Vatican Museums, we were also guided through the Sistine Chapel, eerily accompanied by the insistent monotone murmur of “No photo, no video,” which would periodically startle everyone from their imposed silence. Whenever the faint whispers of the visitors reached the slightly audible level, a sharp “SHHHHH!” lashed out, causing us all to cower once again in absolute silence.
Although, of course, let us not forget an all important truth. That is, that the Pope is a great football fan, evidenced by what I dubbed the “football cabinet,” which I am sure for many Italians and foreigners alike, is and always will be the coolest thing on display in the Vatican Museum:
Shout out to Pope Francis, keeping the Vatican in touch with Italy’s great sporting love!