After we left the Museum, we headed back towards St. Peters Basilica. There we wanted to go to the top of the Cupola, from where you could look down and see all over the city.
See that little ball looking thing at the top of the steeple? The overlook point is just below that. (Notice the statues here that run across the front part of the basilica.)
We purchased our tickets and hopped in line to ride what I thought was the elevator to the top. Once we got off of the elevator, there was a place that you could walk into and you were actually up high inside the church. We were able to look down into St. Peters Basilica, though it was hard to see because of the wiring they have up. After looking around up there, we tried to find the next elevator to take us to the top. No such luck. From there we were on foot to hoof it up the 400 or so stairs to the top of the cupola.
The stairs started out a little narrower than most, but overall not a big deal…
…until they got narrower and the walls tilted inwards the higher we got. I have never been claustrophobic, but at one point I almost had a freak out moment. I felt lightheaded too and slightly dizzy. I can only imagine me, that American girl who passed out trying to climb the stairs to get a good picture. Thankfully, I just kept looking at the steps and just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I could get out into the fresh air at the top.
The view from the top was spectacular. We took about a million shots. First using my 55-105 mm lens, then with my 300 mm zoom. Here are a few:
Overlooking St. Peters Square from the top of the cupola. Notice the back of statues at the bottom of the picture. We were WAY high above them and they are the ones from the first picture on the front of the basilica. The people in the square look like little ants!!
Zoomed in a little
A different angle.
Zoomed in and shooting down more at the top of the basilica.
I have no idea what this is but it was inside the Vatican wall so I took a picture of it.
We were up at the tippy top of the tower. Here we were halfway down (the stair portion) and headed to find the elevator to go the rest of the way down. Yay for awkward shots and my splotchy red face from running down the steps, while trying to breathe and not pass out from the tight curvy space!
After planting my little feet back on solid ground, we saw we still had lots of time left in the day. There was one more tour that we wanted to take while at the basilica, and just that we did!
I don’t know what its official name is, but basically you can walk through the tombs of St. Peter and all of the other popes that have been buried underneath the basilica. It was a no photo zone, and for once I obeyed, so I have no pictures to show you. We breezed through, just glancing at everything to see. I hate to say it but there is only so much that one can actually read and take in and at some point if you aren’t very familiar with it (like myself) a lot of it begins to look alike.
While I enjoyed the day of museums, sightseeing and perusing tombs, I was ready for something new. Something girly. Something having to do with Italian leather. My husband, being the sweet soul he is, knew it was not time to argue with his lady so we ventured back to the Metro as I laid out in my brain the shops I wanted to hit up.