We all know that Michelangelo did the ceiling and the Last Judgment for the Sistine Chapel. The side walls have frescoes by Perugino, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, and Signorelli (scenes from the lives of Christ and of Moses).
As one nears the end of the tour of the Vatican Museums one follows signs through a maze of rooms to get there. The entry is by a small door (I had to stoop) and the guards keep urging people forward into a sea of gawkers. If I said we were sardines in the Raphael Rooms, that was nothing by comparison. One could hardly breathe in the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling is very high and I could not help thinking that I had seen it much better on television and in books, well lit and up close with detail.
I wrote in my journal that it was "introvert hell" and that I wanted to get out the second I was inside it. Making the best of the only time I expect ever to be there I shot as many photos as I could. Leaning backward to point the camera upward I was dizzy. The air was close and there was no personal space. The din was maddening. The photos here are pretty much the only ones that came out without blurring from my unsteady camera. Well, unsteady me. Let's hear it for zoom lenses.
The exit was through another single small door. Ah, to be in the spaciousness of cramped passageways again! It takes fifteen minutes to get back to the entrance/exit so we passed through a seemingly endless collection of painted papal wardrobes. I share a bit of the rest of the journey.
If this looks like an endless corridor through many doorways... it is.
And this is the cool staircase toward the exit, built in the 1930s.
Once outside and across the street we found a seat and had gelato (mine was pistachio) and water. Bill had an espresso for energy. Then a walk to the Metro and back to the hotel. The scent of orange blossoms was in the late afternoon air.
We took a very short walk down the street for supper at the Osteria Barberini. It is a lovely little place. Our waitress was a lovely young Rumanian woman and the food was delicious. A real bargain too. We shared a bottle of Dolcetto d'Alba. After dinner we walked around the Piazza Barberini and called it a day.