Today was the big enchilada: St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. Both are gigantic in scope and some of the most heavily visited places in the world. We got out fairly early and got to St. Peter’s a little after it opened and already the line was 250 meters long. Fortunately it moved really fast and in a surprisingly short amount of time we were through security and ushered into the church.
A note to future visitors: Those signs about dress code? They mean it. A lady was denied admittance right in front of us because her skirt was too short.
St. Peter’s is not designed to impress, it is designed to overawe. The place is gigantic and imbued with the wealth, power, and majesty of hundreds of years of church effort. Although the theme is the hereafter it is very apparent that the here and now reality of papal influence has shaped what you see. That is very obvious when you compare the tombs of the Popes.
We all were very impressed with the Basilica and ranked it as one of the highlights of the trip.