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Saint Peter's Basilica

We were born Catholics so being in Italy, there is no way we could miss this small country in the middle of Rome, along the Tiber River. On our second day in Rome, we took the Metro from the Coliseum Station as our accommodation was just a block away. We got off at Ottaviano Station and walked a few blocks to get to the Vatican Museum. We were early and yet the line was already long. In front of us, and back, I assumed were all Italians, as I could hear the musical Italian intonations. After one hour of waiting, we started to get impatient but, I thought God must be worth all this inconvenience and after all, it was not that bad compared to what Jesus sacrificed so god could forgive our sins.

But thirty more minutes, and I'm ready to take the offer of people selling "skip the line". We're ready to pay double if it can guarantee an end to our misery of waiting forever in line. But I also thought if the local Italians can wait, we can do it also.

TwoMonkey had to buy our lunch while I waited to protect the "throne." We had eaten so then I guessed we could wait forever until god give his blessings. He did after more than 3 hours of waiting, it was our turn. But god had more tests for us. When we were ready to step inside, by some miracle, the guard closed the rope. At least we were right in front and on the next call we were inside heaven.

I took my first confession and communion in grade two and was punished with praying, Our Father, Hail Mary, and I believe in God nine times each. I felt so Holy - that all my sins were forgiven after that. Now, I'm here face-to-face with god and my faith.

Once inside, I was struck by how crowded it was - heaven was so popular. I began to empathize with my fellow creatures, the cows, as I was herded through hall after hall. I was more struck by the grandeur and richness of the place. God has a very expensive taste and style.

The Sistine Chapel was worth all the sacrifices, including having to move with thousands' of mortals doing the same thing.We Monkeys tried to stick together but in the end, we got separated. I decided to just check out Heaven and meet TwoMonkey outside. She actually What's app'ed me that she already exited the Sistine when I was still checking the "Borgia". I had watched them on Netflix. -:)

I was amazed of Michelangelo's painting at the Sistine that one of the souvenirs I bought is a book about him at the Chapel's souvenir shop that cost Euro24.

It was not Wednesday so the Pope was not doing the mass. Again the line to the Cathedral was long so we didn't try to go inside. By now, God must understand we did our duty by being good Catholics.

The Vatican is worth a visit even for non religious; it is something to contemplate how religion molded us, who we are.

Book your visit online - it makes things easier, especially during the high season, if you travel independently.


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