"Destination: Citta Del Vaticano" Top 5 Page for this destination Vatican City by Escadora7
Vatican City Travel Guide: 1,239 reviews and 3,796 photos
Some Interesting facts -
The Vatican City is to a Roman Catholic what Mecca is to a Muslim and Jeruslem to a Jew, the difference being the Holy See comprising an entire country unlike any other religion till date. The hub of Christianity and the residential quarters of His Holiness, the Pope, the Vatican draws thousands of pilgrims from all over the world every year. It is the smallest independant state in the world, (with a population under a 1000 heads) and yet the richest in terms of its priceless art and treasures acquired during past centuries.
Personal Comment -
It has always been a dream of ours to visit the Vatican, and so Eva and I were extremely excited at the thought of taking a flight out from Vienna to Rome and spending a few but special moments exploring this historical city. June seemed perfect for a visit. The weather was pleasant and the ambience was terrific. Words could not even begin to express our amazement at the grandeur within the walls of the Vatican, but through our tips and travellogues we will make every attempt to do this city justice.
The Roman Pontiff is the successor of Peter and is the foundation of unity of both the bishops and the faithful.
[Sidenote - As you can see, I have not yet modified the adjoining picture to the new pope Benedict XVI, simply because Pope John Paul II was the one who inspired me during my growing years, and this was the one Eva and I met on our first trip to the Vatican - so he will always have a special place on this page.]
Going back into history -
Pope Julius II invited Helvetian soldiers to join the Vatican army during the period of the Renaissance in 1506, and since then these enigmatic characters have been the 'Defenders of the Church's freedom' and the pope's personal bodyguards.
On the morning of May 6th, 1527, spanish mercenaries launched a series of attacks on Rome. The Swiss Guard, standing firm at the foot of the obelisk (now in St. Peter's Square), resisted desperately. Of the 189 Swiss Guards, only 42 survived. Pope Clement VII was able to escape to safety, through the "Passetto", a secret corridor built along the top of the wall connecting the Vatican with Castel Sant’Angelo, thanks to the renowned courage, noble sentiments and loyalty of the Swiss guards.
Admission requirements to the Swiss guard can be found at - The Roman Curia
[Sidenote - Eva got thrown out of the vatican by these guards, when she jumped a barricade and tried to get close to Pope John Paul II to snap some closeup pics. We did get back in a few minutes later without any trouble though. ]
- Pros:Papa Giovinni Paulo II (Pope John Paul II); currently Pope Benedict XVI
- Cons:Huge crowds at the General Audience to meet the Pope
- In a nutshell:A trip that saw my lifetime dream come through with someone I love so much
One of the most famous architectural constructions in the Vatican museum is the spiral staircase - the Scala Regia ("The... more travel advice
This, as so many things on our Rome trip, was not at all planned - we didn't even know one was allowed to climb up the... more travel advice
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