I was talking to a friend once and he mentioned that one of his greatest dream was to fly his whole family and see the Pope and the Vatican. This sentiment is quite common from where I grew up, a nation considered as one of the largest Catholic country in the world, therefore to be at the center of Roman Catholic Church is more than to see the Sistine Chapel, but for many it is an example of declaring once faith.
I am not a very religious person so my visit to Vatican City was more on a travel side but I must say there is something about the Vatican that quite elicit a mixed feeling from me- of how the Catholic faith has saved my countrymen from most tumultuous time and on the contrary the same faith that grounded us for so many issues that could have progress our country forward.
Setting aside my sentiments, visiting the Vatican City is not an easy feat specifically if you intend to enter the Vatican Museum (Musei Vaticani) and St. Peter’s Basilica (Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano). Though it is the world smallest state, the sheer amount of historical artifacts and artworks inside the premise of this state will dwarf any other city in the world.
I’ve never seen any other museums with such a long queue as early as eight in the morning and the people in line were so determined that not even a pouring rain will deter them away from the queue.
All the waiting was worth it, the Vatican Museum is a treasure-trove of art collections not limited to religious articles alone. But of course, everyone was eager to see one thing primarily and that would be Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, specifically the Creation of Adam at The Sistine Chapel (Capella Sistina).
But before anyone reaches the Sistine Chapel, everyone must pass a 7-kilometer of halls and corridors of world’s greatest artwork and I spent the most considerable amount of time looking at every details of frescoed chambers at Raphael Rooms (Stanze di Raffaello).
After visiting the Vatican Museum, another queue follows. One must line up outside St. Peter’s Square to enter the very heart of the Catholic world, the St. Peter’s Basilica or The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican.
Upon stepping inside St. Peter’s Basilica, I was humbled. I was humbled by its sheer size and magnificent interior. I was humbled as to what it represents. I think I was in awe to the point that if they asked me to renew my Catholic faith then and there again I would have done it.
Housing Michelangelo’s Pietà and with the dome designed by the Renaissance master himself, believed to be the burial site of its namesake St. Peter, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, where everything is scaled to proportion, there is nothing like St. Peter’s Basilica. To say that it is the greatest of all churches in the world is just appropriate.