One can’t travel to Rome and not see the Vatican. Like other Roman icons, the Vatican has been written about, and portrayed thousands of different ways in movies, plays etc. It’s the centre of the catholic church and is a place of pilgrimage for millions of people every year.

How can I explain what it’s like to be in the Vatican museum? Try this. Call 40 of your closest friends and invite them over to your house. Now pile into your closet. Stand in your closet for four hours. This is what it’s like. Wall to wall people a mass of humanity. It’s really hard to appreciate all the wonderful artwork in that environment. We were so fortunate to have Robin to do her best to navigate through the museum, stopping at important pieces relaying the history and the stories that really help us &8216;art challenged’ folks connect to the art contained in the Vatican museum. Without her, it would have been a very miserable experience. With her, it was manageable if not fun. The Vatican museum tour ends at the Sistine chapel, arguably the best work of art completed by an individual on the planet. It’s a bit hard to appreciate with all the people but spending a bit of time and seeing the incredible detail that Michelangelo painted is very awe inspiring. I don’t have pictures of my own (you’re not supposed to take them), so I’ve check out the wikipedia article I’ve linked to above.

We then wandered around Saint Peter’s Basilica after completing the museum. It’s over the top. I can’t explain it any other way. The mosaics are beautiful and the scale of the place is staggering. 60,000 people can be in the basilica at one time. Just try an grok what that might look like. 60,000.

We headed back to the hotel for a quick break before meeting everyone for our last group dinner of the tour. Robin took us to one of her favorite restaurants with the unassuming name of Target. It was one of the best meals of the trip. I had a rosemary steak with potatoes. Deanna had a salad and a carbonara pizza with an egg in the middle. I know, I know, eggs don’t belong on pizzas unless you live in Quebec, but she liked it. We shared a chocolate cake for dessert that was very tasty.

It’s hard saying goodbye to everyone. In a short period of time we became very good friends with a number of really great people. We have a standing invitation for anyone from the trip to come stay with us. Hopefully that will happen.

The Italy portion of the trip is basically over. We fly to Nice tomorrow and head out on our own. It will be a different experience but something I’m looking forward to. More about that when we get to Nice.

Ciao Italia it’s been awesome. We’ll be back one day.