Photo Journal: Rome and the Vatican City

June 9-13, 2001

During the summer of 2001, I was living with my family in Sicily, Italy, where my father was stationed with the US Navy. We had moved there from Jacksonville, Florida two years earlier. Although I had traveled some around the island and had made one trip with the whole family up to Florence, I still wanted to see and experience more of Italy before I left to begin college in Germany. Kathleen, my best friend from high school in Florida, decided she wanted to come visit me before I left, too, so we planned a trip to Rome together! She spent some time with us in Sicily first, then we began our adventure.

We planned the trip around my 21st birthday, which made it even more special.  :)  We decided to plan tours through the local USO on base, and we got some great deals. We booked tours to go through St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums, an audience with the Pope (along with thousands of others, or so it seemed), a personal guided tour of the city, and also day-trips to near-by Florence, Naples, and Pompeii (see my other photo journals for those pictures). Needless to say, we had a very busy schedule for our 5 days there! But it was and incredible, almost surreal, experience, and we had the time of our lives. I hope to return someday (since I DID throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain...), and experience it all over again.

All of the pictures included here were taken by me on my Olympus 35mm camera I had just gotten for my birthday (sorry, don't have all the specifications readily available for you). A few of the pictures were taken on my Cannon Elph with Advantix film, as it could take "panoramic" pictures and was small enough to fit in my purse/pocket to sneak into "no cameras allowed" areas...such as the Sistine Chapel and some basilicas...shhhh... I hope you enjoy these -- I had a great time taking them!

St. Peter's Basilica and Audience with the Pope

St. Peter's Square and Basilica, with the Egyptian Obelisk in the center.
St. Peter's Square and Basilica, with the Egyptian Obelisk in the center.
Closer view of the basilica. Several new saints were being cannonized that year, and their pictures are hanging from the front of the basilica.
Closer view of the basilica. Several new saints were being cannonized that year, and their pictures are hanging from the front of the basilica.
The top of the basilica - Jesus & his apostles/saints.
The top of the basilica - Jesus & his apostles/saints.
Closer view of the statues.
Closer view of the statues.
Pope John Paul II giving an audience, under the canopy.
Pope John Paul II giving an audience, under the canopy.
Closer view of the Pope.
Closer view of the Pope.
Yes, he was also on the "jumbo-tron" for the masses to see...
Yes, he was also on the "jumbo-tron" for the masses to see...
Trying to get a fleeting view of the Pope as he sped by in his "Pope Mobile". (Looking away from the basilica and toward Via della Concillazione.)
Trying to get a fleeting view of the Pope as he sped by in his "Pope Mobile". (Looking away from the basilica and toward Via della Concillazione.)
The Swiss Guard, protectors of the Pope and the Vatican City. You gotta love their brightly-colored outfits!
The Swiss Guard, protectors of the Pope and the Vatican City. You gotta love their brightly-colored outfits!
Inside St. Peter's Basilica.
Inside St. Peter's Basilica.
A huge archway. For perspective, look at the people at the bottom.
A huge archway. For perspective, look at the people at the bottom.
Bernini's Baldacchino (canopy) over the tomb of St. Peter. It's huge!
Bernini's Baldacchino (canopy) over the tomb of St. Peter. It's huge!
Looking up into the Baldacchino. Lots of dark wood & gold.
Looking up into the Baldacchino. Lots of dark wood & gold.
Michelangelo's "La Pieta," the marble statue depicting Mary holding Jesus. It's now behind glass because of vandalism.
Michelangelo's "La Pieta," the marble statue depicting Mary holding Jesus. It's now behind glass because of vandalism.
The body of Pope Innocent XI. (that's a mask on his face, not his real face...)
The body of Pope Innocent XI. (that's a mask on his face, not his real face...)
A complete list of all the popes, carved in marble.
A complete list of all the popes, carved in marble.

The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

The entrance and exit to the Vatican Museums. The wall is the "border" between Italy and the Vatican City.
The entrance and exit to the Vatican Museums. The wall is the "border" between Italy and the Vatican City.
Actually 2 staircases intertwined, to get in and out of the museum area.
Actually 2 staircases intertwined, to get in and out of the museum area.
A courtyard within the museums.
A courtyard within the museums.
Another smaller courtyard.
Another smaller courtyard.
A long hallway of statues.
A long hallway of statues.
A huge, beautiful painting inside. (see people's heads at the bottom)
A huge, beautiful painting inside. (see people's heads at the bottom)
A mummy!
A mummy!
A view of the city from inside the museums.
A view of the city from inside the museums.
Part of the ceiling inside the Sistine Chapel, a very long, narrow room with tall ceilings.
Part of the ceiling inside the Sistine Chapel, a very long, narrow room with tall ceilings.
A wall & part of the ceiling.
A wall & part of the ceiling.
Paintings along one wall.
Paintings along one wall.
Along the middle of the ceiling - the famous "God and Adam touching fingers" section is in the center. (tilt your head to the left to see it better.)
Along the middle of the ceiling - the famous "God and Adam touching fingers" section is in the center. (tilt your head to the left to see it better.)
Covering one wall, "The Last Judgement" (sorry it's not clearer...these are all "illegal" photos I snuck in).
Covering one wall, "The Last Judgement" (sorry it's not clearer...these are all "illegal" photos I snuck in).
The opposite wall from "The Last Judgement" & part of the ceiling/walls. A good view of how tall the ceiling really is. Those are 8' doors open at the bottom.
The opposite wall from "The Last Judgement" & part of the ceiling/walls. A good view of how tall the ceiling really is. Those are 8' doors open at the bottom.

The Roman Forum and Colosseum

The Roman Forum. 3 columns on the left: Temple of Castor & Pollux. Center: Arch of Septimus Severus. Columns on the right: Temple of Saturn.
The Roman Forum. 3 columns on the left: Temple of Castor & Pollux. Center: Arch of Septimus Severus. Columns on the right: Temple of Saturn.
Arch of Septimus Severus.
Arch of Septimus Severus.
Arch of Septimus Severus. For perspective, look at the people on the bottom...  It's huge!
Arch of Septimus Severus. For perspective, look at the people on the bottom... It's huge!
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
The Colosseum, begun in 70 A.D under Emperor Flavius (originally called the Flavian Amphitheater), and completed in 80 A.D. The largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire, and one of the greatest works of Roman architecture & engineering.
The Colosseum, begun in 70 A.D under Emperor Flavius (originally called the Flavian Amphitheater), and completed in 80 A.D. The largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire, and one of the greatest works of Roman architecture & engineering.
Inside the Colosseum. The original floor is now gone, so you can see directly down into the lower chambers. The white marble area in the top-center of the stands is where the emperor would sit during the "games".
Inside the Colosseum. The original floor is now gone, so you can see directly down into the lower chambers. The white marble area in the top-center of the stands is where the emperor would sit during the "games".
Some very old "grafitti" on the walls inside the Colosseum. One reads "Livorno 1918".
Some very old "graffiti" on the walls inside the Colosseum. One reads "Livorno 1918".
Just outside the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome (although that has been debated). It is one of only three such arches to survive in Rome today. The others are located in the Roman Forum.
Just outside the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome (although that has been debated). It is one of only three such arches to survive in Rome today. The others are located in the Roman Forum.
The Arch of Constantine on the left and the Colosseum on the right. The arch was erected in 315 A.D. to commemorate the triumph of Constantine I after his victory over Maxentius in the battle at the Milvian Bridge in 312 A.D.
The Arch of Constantine on the left and the Colosseum on the right. The arch was erected in 315 A.D. to commemorate the triumph of Constantine I after his victory over Maxentius in the battle at the Milvian Bridge in 312 A.D.

Other Landmarks & Churches Around Rome

The Pantheon is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world.
The Pantheon is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world.
The Pantheon was originally built in 80 A.D. as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and after being destroyed by a fire, was rebuilt in 126 A.D. during Hadrian's reign. In 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV converted it into a Christian church.
The Pantheon was originally built in 80 A.D. as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome, and after being destroyed by a fire, was rebuilt in 126 A.D. during Hadrian's reign. In 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV converted it into a Christian church.
Since the Renaissance the Pantheon has been used as a tomb. Among those buried there are the painter Raphael, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi, as well as Vittorio Emanuele II, first king of unified Italy.
Since the Renaissance the Pantheon has been used as a tomb. Among those buried there are the painter Raphael, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi, as well as Vittorio Emanuele II, first king of unified Italy.
Looking out through the Pantheon's columns into Piazza Rotunda.
Looking out through the Pantheon's columns into Piazza Rotunda.
Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II and the tomb of the unknown soldier (guards and wreaths can be seen at bottom-center of the monument).
Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II and the tomb of the unknown soldier (guards and wreaths can be seen at bottom-center of the monument).
"Cordonatta" staircase designed by Michelangelo, leading up to Capitoline Hill.
"Cordonatta" staircase designed by Michelangelo, leading up to Capitoline Hill.
The Senate Palace on Capitoline Hill. The horse-and-rider statue is the only statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Rome.
The Senate Palace on Capitoline Hill. The horse-and-rider statue is the only statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Rome.
The Trevi Fountain, completed in 1762. It is now an icon, having been featured in such movies as "Three Coins in the Fountain," "La Dolce Vita," and "Roman Holiday." A legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into it, they will return to Rome.
The Trevi Fountain, completed in 1762. It is now an icon, having been featured in such movies as "Three Coins in the Fountain," "La Dolce Vita," and "Roman Holiday." A legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into it, they will return to Rome.
Standing at 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, it is the largest (and most beautiful!) Baroque fountain in the city.
Standing at 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, it is the largest (and most beautiful!) Baroque fountain in the city.
The Spanish Steps, leading up to the Spanish Embassy and the church of Trinità dei Monti at the top. It is the longest and widest staircase in all Europe.
The Spanish Steps, leading up to the Spanish Embassy and the church of Trinità dei Monti at the top. It is the longest and widest staircase in all Europe.
The top of the steps offers a wonderful view of the whole city.
The top of the steps offers a wonderful view of the whole city.
At the bottom of the steps is the "Fountain of the Old Boat," made to look like a sunken boat.
At the bottom of the steps is the "Fountain of the Old Boat," made to look like a sunken boat.
Palazzo Giustizia, down the street from Castel Sant'angelo, on the Tiber River.
Palazzo Giustizia, down the street from Castel Sant'angelo, on the Tiber River.
Inside the Hard Rock Cafe - I just love the Michelangelo-inspired ceiling!
Inside the Hard Rock Cafe - I just love the Michelangelo-inspired ceiling!
St. John Lateran Basilica.
St. John Lateran Basilica.
The "Holy Doors" at St. John Lateran.
The "Holy Doors" at St. John Lateran.
St. Mary Major Basilica.
St. Mary Major Basilica.
Inside St. Mary Major.
Inside St. Mary Major.
In St. Mary Major: "Relic of the Manger," said to contain holy relics of Jesus's cradle.
In St. Mary Major: "Relic of the Manger," said to contain holy relics of Jesus's cradle.
Tomb of Pope Pio IX, kneeling to the Manger.
Tomb of Pope Pio IX, kneeling to the Manger.
Dome inside inside St. Mary Major.
Dome inside inside St. Mary Major.
"Holy Doors" at St. Mary Major.
"Holy Doors" at St. Mary Major.
The "Holy Stairs" near St. John Lateran - 28 white marble steps, now encased by wooden steps. The staircase is to be have been part of the praetorium of Pilate in Jerusalem, hence were sanctified by the footsteps of Jesus Christ during his Passion.
The "Holy Stairs" near St. John Lateran - 28 white marble steps, now encased by wooden steps. The staircase is to be have been part of the praetorium of Pilate in Jerusalem, hence were sanctified by the footsteps of Jesus Christ during his Passion.

Rome at Night

Trevi Fountain. The marble and the water were just beautiful all lit-up.
Trevi Fountain. The marble and the water were just beautiful all lit-up.
The Fountain of the Four Rivers and Sant'Agnese in Agone Basilica in Piazza Navona
The Fountain of the Four Rivers and Sant'Agnese in Agone Basilica in Piazza Navona
The Pantheon.
The Pantheon.
Looking down the Ponte Sant'angelo (bridge).
Looking down the Ponte Sant'angelo (bridge).
Saint Peter's Basilica and Ponte Sant'angelo, beautifully reflected in the Tiber River.
Saint Peter's Basilica and Ponte Sant'angelo, beautifully reflected in the Tiber River.

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Comments 5 comments

Pierre 7 years ago

Wow - thank you for sharing this awesome selection of photographs! Perhaps you may care to also upload some to the travel community at trivago?

Regards, Pierre


Stuardt Clarke 7 years ago

I love the pictures you have uploaded. I have one correction to your description, under "Inside St. Mary Major". This is incorrect. That is a picture of the central nave of San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John in the Lateran).


Carol 6 years ago

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