Travel: Vatican City, Italy

Times like this, we truly feel the weight of how blessed we are. Despite the hurt, pain, worry, and consistent anxiousness that so-called 2020 was (to say it was a downward whirlwind would still be an understatement), we are still so blessed to be surrounded with family (against all our differences), friends (no matter how big or small your circle is), love, hope, and such good memories to hold on to and look back on.

Welcome 2021!

I see it fitting that my first entry, travel entry, for this year was when we took a trip to The Vatican City in 2019. My family was able to visit The Vatican in 1999 and what an unforgettable trip that was. We toured 10 countries in Europe but when you look back at the whole trip, you'll soon realize the wonder and power this little country holds. I was too young then to understand the magnitude of this blessing. So when we (and my husband's family) took a trip to Italy in 2019 and had a whole day at The Vatican... needless to say I was in square one again of shock-and-awe.

Here are some photos of my family's trip to the Vatican in 1999.

April 24, 2019 - What a full day that was! And I'll never forget the tour we got, the "Privileged Entrance Vatican Tour". Hahaha! And privileged it was! We had to get up early to be there by 7:30am. It was a "privileged tour" because you basically got in before everyone else did. And maaaan was it quiet! No hustle, no need for nudging other people to get that shot, no extra noise - just our group and the tour guide (Raf). See how empty it was!? See what privileged was?? Even the gift shop was all ours! And, the cleaning staff still at it! WE were disturbing THEM!
One thing we had to keep in mind was our outfits. There was a strict dress code: no knees and shoulders exposed. Cover up! And this was for both men and women. No large backpacks, umbrellas, and tripods too. So make sure you have a designated photographer with height... that's valuable! My line of sight remains at 5 feet. 

We were able to go around the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Vatican Museum. The Sistine Chapel.... talk about devotion. Any complaint I hear now about a neck hurting, I think back to what Michaelangelo felt, craning his to get this done. The detail, history, and weight of it all was just so overwhelming. (Even if I already saw it before!) You can't help but think about what happened in these walls. If only we could witness or hear the stories that transpired. Cliché as it may sound, but if only these walls could talk - what wonder would it unfold! What gossip would we know?! The floor alone was magnificent. What more the ceilings, walls, paintings, murals, sculptures, artifacts... I could go on and on. You literally smelled the history. And you could feel it too. My favourite (other than the Sistine Chapel) would definitely be the Sacristy and the Hall (Gallery) of Maps. You're literally walking through their perspective of the Christian world, one map at a time. Oh.... and the Madonna, the Pieta ('re too much, Michaelangelo. But, thank you.) Artistry and perfection definitely met here.

And of course, when we stepped out to St. Peter's Square at the end of the tour, awestruck again. What a majestic and stately sight! Unfortunately, we didn't see the Pope. But hey, we toured his crib and more! 

I can't express how lucky we were to have visited this place. Thank you, Mama for this gift we'll cherish forever. Writing it now, I'm teary eyed thinking of fortunate we were. To be able to witness this place, feel it, touch it, and live it. What grandeur. Thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you, Mama. 

Here are some more photos of our trip to the Vatican in 2019.

#donyaluzee #travel #italy #vatican #vaticancity #familyvacation #history #sistinechapel #stpetersbasilica #sacristy #tour #family #rome 


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