Visit to Vatican City

This Friday, we went to the Vatican Museums. Our tickets were scheduled for 1pm so we had some time in the morning before we had to be there. We all ended up sleeping in a bit after a busy week at school (I had 3 tests on Thursday). I quickly ate a yogurt shortly before we left our apartment at 12:10 and walked to the train station. After figuring out which train we were supposed to take, we waited a few minutes for it to arrive. Once we reached our stop, we walked about 15 minutes to the museum. I clearly didn’t put much thought into the fact that we would be in a museum for hours and I had barely had anything to eat. After going through a few of the rooms of the museum, my roommates and I were so hungry. We knew there was a cafeteria coming up soon but there were a bunch of other rooms still to go through and we didn’t want to rush through them, constantly thinking about how hungry we were.

One of my favorite rooms in the museum was the Gallery of Geographical Maps. The ceiling had paintings all over it, lit up by the gold surrounding them. The gallery was lined with old maps of every region of Italy.

We went into the Raphael rooms shortly after. One of my dad’s favorite paintings is The School of Athens by Raphael so I was very excited to see it. There was a column about 6 feet tall with information in several languages in the middle of the room with The School of Athens that blocked me from being able to take a proper picture of the painting. The fresco is huge, around 16 feet by 25 feet.

The School of Athens by Raphael

By this point in our visit, we were all starving and wanted food immediately but we still had the Sistine Chapel to walk through. We planned to quickly walk through the Sistine Chapel, get food, and come back afterwards to spend some more time there but when we got there, we realized that we likely wouldn’t be able to get back in. We tried to push through our hunger to properly appreciate it. Michelangelo’s frescos were actually smaller than I expected. There were a lot of them but the most easily recognizable ones, like The Creation of Adam took up a very small portion of the ceiling.

We didn’t end up actually sitting down until shortly after 4:30. I had a turkey and cheese sandwich that was 70% bread but I was so hungry that it really didn’t matter.

My roommate Erin and I in the courtyard at the Vatican Museums (photo taken by Lydia Victor)

We left the museum around 7 and headed to St. Peter’s Square. It was so pretty at night and there was close to no one there. I plan on going back soon during the day and going inside St. Peter’s Basilica. On the way to the bus stop, we were talking about how we wanted hot chocolate or at least something warm. We stopped at a café we saw and asked if they had it but they were closed so they weren’t going to make anything new. We actually ended up getting gelato because they had it there and were willing to serve it to us despite them closing 10 minutes before we got there. The gelato was good but I find it funny that we wanted something to warm us up and ended up getting one of the coldest things we could find.

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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