I have watched the Angels and Demons, a movie adaptation by Dan Brown, whom our family, majority not a fan. We read because it is entertaining, but I must say Mr. Brown is very creative and imaginative. You can not be a writer who makes money without having both.
So when we arrived at the Basilica, the feeling is so great that I could see the place, like D-place, which I have only thought of seeing it from websites and pictures. It is amazing. We are here.
The St Peter Square is seriously huge, to cater for the crowd gathering.
Where as the Basilica, just like everywhere else in Vatican, requires security check before one is allowed to enter. For obvious reason, I guess all religious place would have some security measure in place.
You will need to walk pass the really large St Peter Square before reaching the Basilica entrance.
Come on the last Sunday of the month, it is free to enter the Basilica. I suggest to take the audio guide, as that is what available, unless you take a large tour group. Which I think it is better to explore it ia the audio guide.
So, I forgot how much was the audioguide, but I think in the range of EURO20 per pax, and it is free for Inez. It comes with a postcard, which is for you to point to the card for the guide. It is really nice because you can keep the card for souvenir. Then there is a large laminated A4 sized card for us during the Basilica visit.
Again, it is impossible to complete the Basilica in a day. Just not possible, because we need to check and learn the various chapels inside the really large Basilica.
I will blog in another entry about the chapels which we visited in the next round.
The audio guide also comes with a lift access, one time only to go up to the entrance of the dome. Actually, according to our twins, it is not that hard to climb the stairs, only 480+ steps.
Anyway, the Vatican security personnel told us to get into the lift, then we were ready to go. It was like less than 1 min, we arrived at the dome entrance.
It is seriously in awe with the roof of the dome, the arts, just simply so amazing. I read that it was done by Leornado Da Vinci and he almost got blind because the paint kept entering his eyes.
The wall is also decorated with the tiles, would have taken I do not know how long in the past to complete it.
By the way, you can check out the National Geographic for an interactive 360 degree view of inside Basilica.
After we finished admiring and touching the wonderful tiles, and looking up at the ceiling, on boy, the amazing arts. My neck begin to ache, as seldom ever need to look up at something for this long.
We embarked on the journey to reach the Dome of Basilica, which we thought should have been really quick.
We let an elderly group to go ahead of us to walk first. Big mistake!
Few of them loss the stamina when the journey reached a really narrow stairway, where I noticed some large caucasian was hard time to even get through the stairs. So, we were stuck inside a tiny space, with many people. Imagine if it is summer, I think could be really short of air.
So, remember the strategy.
Brace yourself, keep the steady pace.
Remember to breath well.
Keep a distance from the person in front of you, in case he or she decided to stop half way. At least you have some space in between.
Wear a comfortable pair of shoes. It is crucial, as the coming down of the stairs could be kind of tough to handle, really tiny steps.
Do not get carry away with the many things on the wall, where people left the vandalism marks on the walls.
Really uncalled for.
After some minutes of reaching the top, voila, we reached the top!
The view is again, so stunning. I am just running out of the words to describe.
The peak is round, so take your time to view the whole Vatican City, 360-ly.
Do not let other people to rush you, as I noticed some tourists are. They just want to take pictures, selfies etc. Let them be. Take your time to enjoy the beautiful view. Since you have climbed for so long to reach the top. But one thing for sure is that, you could not possible stay that long up there, because there are also many other people climbing up. So they need the space too.
Be careful with the steps to climb down. You will do all right if you do not rush down.
Once you came down from the top, be sure to stop at the cafe for some coffee. It is also a place for the Vatican staff, so just do not take up so much space, as the cafe could be quite packed.
Then, you can take your time to admire another round of view up here.