Vatican City, Rome, Italy – 11th day (06.13.12)

Early morning trip to Vatican City.  It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800. This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population.

Travel by train from Roma termini to Ottaviano station (red line).  Large crowds inside Metro trains so take care of your belongings.

Glimpse of St Peter’s Basilica

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Entrance of St. Peter’s Square with very huge pillars

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Huge crowds lining up to enter St. Peter’s Basilica.  Waiting time would be about 30-45 minutes.

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Front view of St. Peter’s Basilica at St. Peter’s Square

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Closer look of St. Peter’s Basilica

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Polizia mobile car

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Statue of St. Peter at the foot of St. Peter’s Basilica

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View of St. Peter’s Square from St. Peter’s Basilica’s entrance

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The famous Pieta sculpture – is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus.

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Altar as the background

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Magnificent ceilings of St. Peter’s Basilica

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Another stunning view inside St. Peter’s Basilica

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Famous Swiss guards protecting Vatican City

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Roma Antica Ancient Rome

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Entrance of Vaticano Museum

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Sculptures inside Vatican Museum

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Biggest bath tub in ancient Rome

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An alley of huge paintings

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Majestic ceilings of Vatican Museum

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Parking lot outside Vatican Museum

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Paintings of the Geek’s greatest minds

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Highlight of visiting Vatican museum is the Sistine Chapel.   It is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including MichelangeloSandro BotticelliPietro PeruginoPinturicchio and others.

The Last Judgment

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The Spiral staircase

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Next stop is Piazza Navona.  It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans came there to watch the agones (“games”), and hence it was known as ‘Circus Agonalis’ (competition arena).

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The Pantheon – It is one of the best-preserved of all Roman buildings. It has been in continuous use throughout its history, and since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” but informally known as “Santa Maria della Rotonda.

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Altar inside the Pantheon

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Opening of the dome like ceiling of the Pantheon.

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Outside of the Pantheon – Piazza de la Rotonda

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