|The hotel building dates back to the 16th century. In the beginning the building was reserved as an annex to the building of the Tarlonian Princes on the opposite side of the street. In 1845, the building was transformed into a hotel. Some very famous guests have stayed there - Franz Listz, Hans Christian Andersen, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and in 1893, Enrico Sienkiewicz, the author of "Quo Vadis". Pope Pio IX visited the hotel in July 1855 to meet with Don Pietro V, the King of Portugal. I'm not sure whether any of them slept in the room we had, but they were in the same building and that's almost as good as staying in the Lincoln Room at the White House isn't it?|
|Maria, Our Guide|
|The lines waiting to get into the Vatican were long! People with a guide were allowed in earlier than those without a guide - we lucked out!|
|St. Peter's Basilica|
|The actual preserved body of
Pope John XXIII
|Maria told us that anywhere you see water running from a fountain in Rome, it is safe to drink.|
No photographs were allowed, so I scanned the pictures below from a book published by the Vatican Museum. The chapel is just absolutely beautiful. We sat with our guide while she told us (whispered because there's supposed to be silence) about Michelangelo. Before the fresco (The Judgement) on the altar wall was finished, Biagio da Cesena, Paul III's Master of Ceremonies expressed harsh condemnation. He said, "It is most disgraceful that in so sacred a place there should have been depicted all those nude figures exposing themselves so shamefully". Michelangelo was determinied to have his revenge, and as soon as Biagio left, Michelangelo drew Biagio's portrait from memory in the figure of Minos shown with a great serpent curled around his loins among a heap of devils in hell. Michelangelo used his friends' faces on the figures in Heaven, and his enemies' faces on those figures in Hell.
|The paintings on the ceiling depict creation. This panel shows the creation of Adam.|
|Inside the Pantheon|
Remember Three Coins in the Fountain?
|They say that when you throw a coin in the fountain, you will return to Rome.|
|GOODBYE, GOODBYE TO ROME|
|There were crowds everywhere!|
|IT'S TIME TO SAIL|