Jennifer Hall Temple Rome

Yes Mom, I Finally Made It To The Vatican.


So, you can tell by the title, but my Mom has been very excited about me being in such close proximity to the Vatican. Can you tell my family is Irish Catholic? My mom seriously texts me a few times a week, “When are you going to the Vatican?!” or “You should get married at the Vatican!… Just kidding. Not til You’re 30.” I was beginning to feel like a bad daughter considering I’ve been living here for two months and still haven’t made it. SO! Andriana Shannon, Cecily, and I finally went to the Vatican on Tuesday. Oh, what did you do on Tuesday? Eh, nothing just went to the Vatican no big deal.

See Mom? This is Michelangelo’s Pieta in real life!

On Tuesday The girls and I were only able to see St. Peter’s Basilica because for some reason the museums and the Sistine Chapel were closed… for just that day… right before we got there. How convenient. But it was still completely breathtaking! Andriana just couldn’t stop asking,”…How? How did they make this!?” It really is that overwhelming.

But my FAVORITE part of Tuesday was climbing the cupola to the top of the dome of the Basilica which is one of the highest points in the city! And when I say “climb” I mean we took the elevator 3 floors… and then climbed. If you ever get there, jut pay the extra 2 euro and take the elevator, you STILL have another 421 steps after that. I was not joking when I said Italy LOVES its stairs. And these were not just any stairs. They were the tightest, curviest, most awkwardly sweaty stairs ever.

… yes. And these girls are tiny.

But so totally worth it.

See Mom, I really went!

This view is honestly the BEST I’ve seen in Rome. The memory will permanently remain in the back of my head. All the girls and I could say when we got to the top was “…Wow. I love Rome.”

Still in awe from Tuesday, I headed back to the Vatican on Friday! This time with Jaleh, Cecily, and Kenny to FINALLY see the Sistine Chapel and the Museums… I would almost recommend doing the Basilica and the Museums on two separate days because the Basilica is sweaty and the Museums are MONSTROUS. Seriously, this is one hell of a museum.

This is how you feel the whole time.

Um by the way, that spiral? Yea those are so NOT steps. They were like this weird hybrid of a ramp/slide/ridiculously gradual stairs. They seemed incredibly dangerous. BUT, I digressed, Girls Day (plus Kenny)!

Another annoying thing about this museum, it takes you an hour and a half just to get to the Sistine Chapel. I’ll admit, I am an annoying person to do museums with. If it’s an art museum I take a painstaking amount of time reading all of the labels and studying every brush stroke and color choice and writing down notes of pieces and ideas to remember. And if it’s any other kind of museum I run right through it with very little regard for all of the antiquity. To be perfectly honest, museums kind of give me claustrophobia. They’re always these giant labyrinths of things….THINGS EVERYWHERE. And the Vatican Museums have ALL OF THE THINGS. So you see all of these things whose relevance to the Vatican or Catholicism are questionable and then BAM.

NOTE: Photography is strictly forbidden in the Sistine Chapel… best sneaky pic ever!

Oh hey there, cover of every art history book I’ve ever had. Nice to see you in real life! It was smaller than I had imagined, and being an art student, I was so frustrated because I really just wanted to get close and examine the paintings. It’s kind of hard to see all the way down on Earth. After picking my jaw up off the floor and snapping a few more sneaky pictures, we headed out. Oh yea there’s also another HOUR of museum after the Sistine Chapel… What?

So yes Mom, I went to the Vatican. And it was a process but completely worth it! And I got you lots of cool souvenirs!

It’s currently 4:00 AM in Italy and I’m still awake, I can’t sleep because my very special guest get’s here in 3 1/2 hours!!!!!

It’s going to be a long night!


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