DAY 1: The Vatican - the Vatican - FIRST SLIDE The Holy See is a separate country that is inside the city of Rome, Italy. It is also called Vatican City. There is a wall around the city and it is very small for a country; only 110 acres. It is owned and governed by the Catholic Church with the Pope (remember Pope Francis?) having supreme power over all aspects of the government.
SECOND SLIDE St. Peter's Basilica is the second largest Christian church in the world. It looks much different than St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. St. Peter's is built on the site of a 4th-century basilica that is believed to enclose the tomb of Peter from the Bible. The Basilica has over 100 tombs and 140 statues inside with a main dome that goes up and up. There are over 450 steps you must climb if you want to look down from the sides of the dome!
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Square - St. Peter’s Square: is a massive plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.At the centre of the square is a real Egyptian obelisk. The Square includes massive Tuscan colonades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in "the maternal arms of Mother Church." Crowds gather here to hear the Pope speak.
DAY 2: The Sistine Chapel - Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which is part of the Vatican, depict nine stories from the Christian Bible's Book of Genesis, including the most famous image, the Creation of Adam. Taken together, the paintings are considered one of the world's greatest art masterpieces. Michelangelo built his own scaffold that lifted him over 60 feet high. Many believe he laid on his back and painted, but that is not true --Michelangelo and his helpers stood, but this was grueling on their necks. For a year after the ceiling was completed, Michelangelo had to have other people read to him because his ability to see became bad after painting so many years in a position that was horrible for his eyes. Today the detail and colors of the ceiling remain a marvel.
DAY 3: Swiss Guard - Swiss Guards serve the Vatican as a type of police and military. A long time ago the Swiss were famous mercenaries (that means they were hired by other countries as fighters). At that time, Switzerland was a poor country and young men often sought their fortunes abroad, having a reputation for discipline and loyalty. Today as then, the job iof the Swiss Guard is to defend and protect the Pope, and yes, they are still from Switzerland. Don’t be fooled by their uniforms --they have all undergone military training in the Swiss army and are a very well trained, powerful military force.
DAY 4: Michelangelo's "Pieta" - In St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican - Michelango’s Pieta. The word Pietameans Pity or Compassion, and represents Mary mourning the dead body of her son which she holds on her lap. Look closely and see how Michelangelo made marble seem like flesh, and look at those complicated folds of fabric. The Pieta is sculpted from white marble.The Pietà with the Virgin Mary is also unique among Michelangelo's sculptures, because it was the only one he ever signed, upon hearing that visitors thought it had been sculpted by another artist, who was his chief competitor,.[Michelangelo carved his signature into the sash on Mary’s robe..
DAY 5: Bramante Staircase - The Bramante Staircase is a double helix staircase located in the Vatican in the Vatican City State. A canopy located above provides the necessary light to illuminate the stairs. Notice there are no STEPS, only a gentle slope. The staircase was built tin the 1500s to allow Pope Julius II to enter his private residence while still in his horse drawn carriage, since walking up the several flights in heavy papal robes would have been impossible.The staircase is located at the end of the museum visit and all visitors leave by this route.