Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Tag: Arielle Tan

Musei Vaticani

Vatican

by Arielle Tan

I have always wanted to visit the beautiful city of the Vatican. How could someone possibly not be interested in one of the pillars of our civilization? As you may know now, I am a huge art and history lover – the Vatican was and still is a must-go in my travel bucket list. I have to admit that Dan Brown’s novel Angels & Demons fuelled even more my desire to visit this place. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to fulfill my vacation-dream and visit this breath-taking city.

The first thing you will see once you enter the city is the gigantic St. Peters Square and the Basilica. The beautiful architecture, the obelisk, the fountains and of course the angels on the two arches are simply magnificent. I could have spent my whole day looking at every single detail of the famous square but I had to go to the Musei Vaticani – the museum of the Vatican City. I suggest you to buy your tickets in advance or you will have to wait hours before being let in. And the waiting line is monstrously huge.

Galleria carte geograficheThe first section I visited was the amazing Gallery of Maps, my favourite section of the entire museum. Upon entering, you will see on both walls gigantic topographical maps of the whole of Italy. 01_carte_geograficheEach fresco maps the entirety of the Italian peninsula and depicts a perspective view of a particular region. But the most breath-taking part of this gallery is its ceiling. Gaze up to the 120 meters long ceiling filled (by filled I mean without any bare space) of gorgeous paintings. Some call it the Golden Corridor or the Golden Gallery – I could not agree more.

After going through Raphael’s Rooms, the tapestries section and in the Borgia Apartment to admire the incredible frescoes, I finally got to step in the most known and loved chapel in the world: the Sistine Chapel. I don’t think I can even describe my amazement when I saw Michelangelo’s most famous paintings, The Last Judgment and The Creation of Adam (and of course the entirety of the chapel’s ceiling).Giudizio universale. Angeli che annunciano la fine dei tempi Angeli con gli strumenti della Passione, lunetta destraSince we are not allowed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel, I found some photos online to show you the expertise of this master painter.

This little article does not even give justice whatsoever to the Musei Vaticani. I highly suggest you to go visit one of the richest places we have in the whole world. I feel one visit is not enough to give the due attention and respect to every treasure found in the museum. I could spend hours just watching the ceiling of the Gallery of Maps or even looking at every single detail in the Sistine Chapel… But that will be for another and soon-to-be trip.

 

 

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Vatican Museums

Michelangelo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorrento

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by Arielle Tan

During my European cruise last summer, I had the chance to visit 3 cities in Italy; The Vatican, Sorrento and Pompeii. Sorrento, a small city in the region of Naples, is definitively worth a visit even if it will only take you a few hours. Away from the busy cosmopolitan cities such as Rome, Milan and Florence, Sorrento has its very own charm. I visited the Piazza Tasso, the Cattedrale dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo and the Vallone dei Mulini with my sister and everything was beyond beautiful.

As its name suggests, the Piazza Tasso is the center market place of the city and it has everything you need: restaurants, shops, lounges and little markets. Don’t underestimate the small size of this city, as it is a real hub of activity. The streets are filled with local stores and local products and it is the perfect occasion to taste Sorrento’s specialty: the limoncello – a lemon-flavored hard liquor. Lemons are at the heart of the city and of its culture. You will see many local products either made with or having lemon references such as soaps, liquors, food, accessories and clothes.

Not too far from the center of the piazza is the gorgeous Cattedrale dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo. It was built in the 11th century before being rebuilt in the 15th century in Romanesque style. Upon entering, I was amazed by the wonderful marbles, the gorgeous painted ceiling, the frescoes, and their many marquetry. The cathedral’s ornate interior really shows the wealth in details of all its artworks. Don’t miss the diorama of the Nativity at the entrance!

The next stop is Sorrento’s truly hidden gem. My sister and I almost missed it as nobody told us to look out for it. I am talking about the Il Vallone dei Mulini (Depp Valley of the mills). While walking over a stream, we saw over the street’s railing an abandoned 10th century mill embraced by Mother Nature’s arms. It is a beautiful scenery (though some might find it a bit creepy).

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If you ever get the opportunity to visit Naples, I really suggest you to visit the charming city of Sorrento. Little warning: even if there are a few beaches in this region, I don’t suggest you to do a tanning session since the fees to enter and to have a place on those beaches are very expensive. Leave your beach activities for Mykonos and embrace the Italian culture instead!

 

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With all my affection

 

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Torna a Surriento

Come Back to Sorrento

 

 

 

 

 

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