... The Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum. After my emotionally overwhelming morning in St. Peter's and my lunch in the Square this was my next stop.
Flipping through the journal I kept on my travels the main notation I have about this experience was how the layout was cunningly devised... you *had* to trod through the nightmarish chambers of Modern Art before entering the Sistine Chapel. If it weren't for the this purposeful floor plan I can accurately assume no one would give these works of "art" the time of day. A gentleman in front in me said "Well, I guess I can put my camera away for a bit."
Then there it was ...
Every inch of wall space was dripping with color, metaphor and allegory. Frescoed tapestries were painted on the walls. No spot was left un-ornamented. It might have been only a slightly more edifying experience without the guards yelling at the tops of their lungs for the tourists to "Silenzio!" A perfect example of Italian logic.
For dinner I ate alfresco at the base of this statue looking out onto the Tiber and Ponte Sant'Angelo while the Roman sun set ...
God, I miss Rome.
Adding: Funny story about these photos. As a commenter pointed out, you are not permitted to take photos inside the Sistine Chapel. Everyone does anyway, on the sly with their cell phones and camera flash turned off. Fed up that I couldn't sneak a decent picture without the aid of flash, I scurried up next to a German family whose patriarch was taking a video with his cell phone... quite obviously, I might add. I popped off some carefully timed flash photography and when the guards came storming over I stepped back and got lost in the crowd. I learned all kinds of new profanities in Italian and German that day!