There is no way of visiting Rome without going to the Vatican City. You do not have to be religious whatsoever. There is so much history enclosed within its walls, but the most amazing part is seeing incredible art in every corner.
St. Peter´s Square (the Vatican´s main plaza) was designes by Lorenzo Bernini in 1656. I think the entire plaza is very harmonious and radiates both respect and beauty. The main element is St. Peter´s basilica, which I found to be one of the most stunning churches I have ever seen. I was not expecting less but the exactitude and balance of all the decorations makes it abnormally fascinating. It is also home of Michelangelo´s La Pieta, sadly I did not get to take a picture of it (please look up a picture).
I thought the David was pure perfection but this sculpture goes beyond perfection. Being a dancer I find it strange how something motionless is able to transmit emotions. I have seen paintings and sculptures where there is clearly an emotion that sets the mood of the work. But somehow La Pieta, a piece of delicately carved marble, is able to make the viewer cry. Completely motionless, but Mary´s face while holding the body of Jesus portraits such an honest pain that it gives the viewer the opportunity to live that moment with her.
The Vatican museum was incredible. If you plan on visiting, I highly recommend you to not do it in mid July. There is too many people, it is not the same thing when you have no one pushing you around. Even though it was crowded, there were moments in which I was so emotionally connected to the artwork that nothing could bother me. This happened to me when I entered the famous Sistine Chapel. I stared in awe at Michelangelo´s frescoes for as long as I could and then I left the Vatican feeling gratified and overjoyed.
Rome is quite a journey. Getting lost and letting your curiosity wander around is a great way to experience and get to know the city. The Tiber River, ancient Roman sculptures, Egyptian obelisks, interesting markets and shops...there is just too much to explore!!
Roma you will be missed!!!!!
Photos by Greta Elizondo and Luis Elizondo.