The Sistine Chapel and a culture shock

December 23, 2005

Our second trip to Vatican City today. Since we didn't' make the 12:20 pm cutoff for the Vatican museums yesterday we made sure we didn't make the same mistake today. This was the only sight were the crowds were a bit large but the line moved swiftly. We headed straight for the Sistine Chapel and once inside were in awe of the glorious paintings. An entire day could be spent gawking at the amazing works by Michelangelo and other prominent Renaissance painters. Looking up at the ceiling for an extended period of time could really cause a neck strain but the paintings are so beautiful it's well worth it. There has also been a restoration within the chapel so the paintings have been restored to their original splendor. On our way back we grabbed another slice of pizza at the very popular Il Forno di Campo de Fiori. After pushing and shoving to get our slices we were rewarded for our effort. We made it to the train station in enough time to secure a seat for our trip to Naples. The train was jammed with people making their way down south for the holidays. The first glimpse we had of Naples was quite a shock to our system. The area around the train station is dodgy which is being generous at best. As we fought the holiday shoppers buying their last minute gifts we finally found our pension and asked ourselves where the hell were we. In all truthfulness the streets and atmosphere reminded us of a third world country which isn't a bad thing but quite unlike anywhere else in Italy. We went in w/ few preconceived notions of the city but knew of the generalizations of the area. Yes it is dirty (very), the drivers are a bit crazy and there are definitely areas which should be avoided. However, it has loads of character and that goes a long way in our book.

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