Sunday, September 25, 2016

St Peter’s Basilica, Italy!

It was hot. You can tell.

This was Rome in August.

And those Swiss Guards with their funny traditional outfits looking as cool as cucumbers, how do they do it? 

That is if cucumbers came with gold and purple striped pantaloons and tights.

Hour after hour, protecting Vatican City.

The green ear bud? So we can hear our guide more clearly. Best invention ever.

We entered St Peter’s after leaving the Sistine Chapel, and we were brought in the back way, through corridors and passageways, and all of a sudden we were INSIDE.


And it was huge, and awe inspiring.

And so very filled with people.

Remember my touristy visit to the Trevi Fountain?

The threat of selfie sticks is real!  Even from within St Peter’s Basilica!


Looking up, above the people.


Looking down at floors!

It took me 3 tries to get this shot…because other people were just walking right on top of what I wanted to get a photo of.  These stars are my consolation prize after not being allowed to take photos of the floors in the Sistine Chapel.


My feet.

Standing where Popes and Saints and dignitaries as well as countless thousands of normal folks have trod.


Michelangelo’s Pietà 1498–1499
This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular by that time in France but not yet in Italy. Michelangelo's interpretation of the Pietà is unprecedented in Italian sculpture. [source]
While the description from Wiki is quite formal and stuffy, this statue is so much more. I loved our guide and her excitement for art and history in this great place.  And the way she had of pointing out things that we might not notice which really brought the story around to a more personal level.

Michelangelo lost his mother at a very young age.  The Mary in the statue looks nearly too young to be Jesus’ mother if he was 33 at the time of his death.  It is thought that perhaps Michelangelo carved his memories of his own mother into the face of Mary.  This statue is the only work that Michelangelo ever signed.

And, as is prevalent in renaissance art, both mother and son look exceptionally European, not of Middle Eastern descent.

It is an amazing early work which is now kept behind protective glass as a madman once tried to deface it with a hammer, and with fifteen blows he removed Mary's arm at the elbow, knocked off a chunk of her nose, and chipped one of her eyelids, which have since been fixed.  

They took a block of marble out of the back of the statue to carve her a new nose to replace the one that onlookers supposedly kept as a souvenir when pieces went flying.

I took so many photos!  And because we entered from within the pathways and hallways, I was completely disoriented as to which way I was facing until we went out through this door and this was my view:


Standing on the steps overlooking St Peter’s Square.


I’ve been here.  Knock this one off my bucket list!

The rest of the photos are in the slide show below.  Most of them aren’t super great.  Lighting was iffy, people were many, and things were so big it was hard to get all of any one thing within the view of the camera.  But I hope you enjoy it!  Those of you who have been to St Peters, will know exactly what I mean!

This morning I am on my way to Dover, Delaware!  It’s going to be a long driving day, I should be there by dinner time.

It’s a shortish guild visit, Talkin' Turkey workshop tomorrow, guild presentation tomorrow night, My Blue Heaven workshop on Tuesday and I will be home my dinner time on Wednesday!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

I read once that the people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. We become like our friends.

True friends will lift you up into a better you and you will do the same for them!

Vintage bricks quilt found in North Carolina.

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

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  1. Thank you for the pictures. I can't even imagine how enormous the Bascilica is. So much to see and so many quilting ideas and textures as well. LOL

    Aileen in FL

  2. On of the things that always amazed me in the exhibit portion...the jewels, gold, silk etc. Did ya notice the skulls on a lot of the chalices?! I told my friend, if it was sold and/or melted down, they could end world hunger. It was just a random thought, not a recommendation! But no, you shouldn't say that to a Catholic! 😉 luckily, they knew my heart was saying it out of empathy for the poor, yet it is such an amazing thing to see what the Popes wore or used centuries ago!!! I love reading your blog during your trips. The older I get, the more I appreciate history! ❤

  3. I remember just standing and staring at the Pieta--I kept expecting her to breathe. So very beautiful--thank you for the pictures.

  4. I remember when I was in high school, a news story that some man took a hammer to the Pieta. I remember thinking how could anyone do that.... it seems so trivial when you think about what people have done since then... like 9/11.

  5. I see mystery quilt in so many of these posts! I do know I am going to have gold and purple in mine some how or other...... figurein' stars..... but a week ago was figurein' another form. The first time I was in the Vatican was during Vatican II (Second Vatican Council). There were bleachers for the various attendees, cardinals, translators, etc. The world has changed in these 50 years....

  6. Beautiful Posting for Sunday. Be safe traveling today. Thanks for braving the throngs of people to share pictures with us.

  7. Beautiful Posting for Sunday. Be safe traveling today. Thanks for braving the throngs of people to share pictures with us.

  8. Thank you for the beautiful pictures! So many wonderful things to see and enjoy in this world. Every time you share these I am transported into history.

  9. Love the photos, thanks so much. I was lucky enough to be a senior In high school and live in NY near the Worlds Fair in 1964-1965. The Pieta was there, in the Vatican Pavilion, sitting by itself behind a wall of glass and in front of a deep blue backdrop....breathtaking! I was in a small swinging group and we were invited to sing at an after hours gathering there. Imagine our delight when they took us behind the bulletproof glas to stand right next to that exquisite statue! It was almost a religious experience...to think that that young man, a teenager himself, could carve marble to look like that. I think God is in all of us, but in Artists, his light really puts forth, doesn't it?

  10. I also saw the PIeta at the World's Fair in NY when I was 10 and was blown away by the quality of the marble and sculpting. I think it was the most breathtaking thing there to me. It is etched in my memory. Years later, when I saw Michaelangelo's work in the Louvre, I felt the same feeling of awe.

  11. I know I will probably never get to see the Vatican, but when we were still newlyweds,my late husband and I did get to see the Pieta at the New York World's Fair in 1965. It was just so beautiful. As a remembrance, I bought a small replica of the statue.

  12. Thank you so much for posting pictures of this awe-inspiring cathedral. It mystifies me how the people were so fervent in their beliefs that they could get the workers organized to create this magnificent place. They had no cranes, or cement mixers, or welders, etc. that modern man has today at his disposal, yet their creations were so intricately and beautifully crafted. How did they do it?? All the beautiful ceilings and arches and art work and statues. How did they do it?? And once it was finished, I wonder if those same workers that worked so hard to build this beautiful place, as well as the poor people, get to worship there?? Or was it strictly limited to an elite group?? So many questions come to mind. I would love to go there someday to see it for myself, but for now we at least get to see it through your eyes, Bonnie. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I remember seeing the Pieta at the World's Fair in 1964 - think it was in New York or somewhere close by. We had just moved to New Jersey for my dad to take a job in NYC - I was 12 at the time but remember a lot of the fair. The statue was beautiful and so lifelike. Can't imagine why anyone would want to deface it!! Love the pictures - thank you!

  14. I'm not surprised you chose to showcase the Pieta. I first saw a photo of this work when I took a Humanities class in high school. It did something to me. Moved me so profoundly. My sister found and purchased for me a small, approx. 6-9", rendition of the sculpture as a gift and to this day it proudly sits on my bedroom dresser.

  15. Sherrie B Thank you for your photos , I'll probably never see these places, but through your eyes. I have to say with a smile on my face, that i just had to pause in the middle of the video of the chapel ( the ceiling to be exact) to sketch the tiles for an inspirational quilt with some fabric i've been holding on to. Angels and such in tans taupes and neutrals , maybe add some of those jewel tones in to living it up hmmmm, LOL


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