Saturday, December 4, 2010

So what's with the gold ball in the courtyard?, we're roaming around the many museums in Vatican City when I look out a window and discover a gold ball in the courtyard. I immediately have to wonder what in the world it is...why is it there. Well, after a little searching (and finding out I'm not the only one with the same question), I have discovered it is actually bronze (could have fooled me) and it's called "Sphere Within Sphere" - and if you're on the other side, you can actually see the 2nd sphere. It is just that, a sculpture placed in the middle of the courtyard. 
The museums at the Vatican are some of the most interesting museums I've been to. Throughout the ages, various popes created the museums to house wonderfully interesting items from around the world. Not only that, the rooms that the collections were housed in were masterpieces in themselves with fabulous paintings on every wall and ceiling. It was fabulous to wander the halls. 
The Gallery of the Tapestries was one of my favorites. The intricate work, the details of the animals, houses, trees, and especially the expressive faces was incredible. Not only that, they were huge! The walls were about 2 stories high and the tapestries filled the walls. Absolutely stunning. This is just a small corner of one - but it had an Even though the room was designed to hold these tapestries, the ceilings were intricately frescoed with various paintings. 
Another personal favorite was the Gallery of the Maps. This particular room had maps of Italy painted directly on the wall, each depicting a region or island of Italy. The maps were very detailed and in the process of being restored. 

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