Rome: Vatican Turns On The Lights

See Rome with a Roman.

The Last Judgement in The Sistine chapel, Rome
Photo thanks to Bing post*

On my recent trip Home to Italy Laura Massoni Travel. arranged a great day with an amazing Rome expert Giovanni.
I do not take tours (one exception was a day in Russia) but this event to see the Sistine Chapel with Giovanni was more like:  spending the day with a scholar, a local and a very interesting new friend.

The new lights illuminate all the panels
Photo thanks to Bing

Marking it’s 500th year, the Sistine Chapel is on any list of must sees in Rome.  During every visit I am amazed by the sheer scale of the chapel, the countless individual figures each with a different expression and the colors.     

Each ceiling panel is an astounding work of art.
Photo thanks to Bing*

It was a thrill to see the chapel this time with a knowledgeable licensed tour guide with a masters in Architecture, trained in sculpture and plastic arts and a for art history teacher.  Giovanni is part of the Laura Missoni Travel group.

Our guide, Giovanni

New LED lighting was being added during my October visit and scaffolding was everywhere.  Now completed,  I asked Giovanni, who has visited as many as 150 times during the past 12 years, what comes to his mind when he now enters the ‘illuminated’ room:  ‘good job Michelangelo’.  

He tells me that first time visitors often react with:  “it’s overwhelming, grand, larger or smaller than they expected.  I would say all visitors feel admiration and real curiosity.”

Photos don’t do this massive work of
art justice and you are not permitted to take photos within the chapel.    The photos here are from Bing* and show the incredible improvement after the installation of the new lighting.   *

A BBC report explained that in this room that is also famous for the election of each new pope, that there are now 7,000 Led lights.    With 20,000 visitors a day the yearly toll on the room might require some future limitation of the number of guests.   I observed guards preventing visitors from staying too long.  There are seats around the perimeter of the room but I still leave with the bent back strain from trying to see everything in a very short period of time.  

The crowds can be massive
Photo credit Bing*


There is now an opportunity via special reservations to visit the chapel at the end of the day when it is less crowded.  

Alice Capitolo

Thank you Laura Massoni Travel arranging this tour.
Alice Capitolo is a member of the Laura Massoni Travel team and never tired of answering endless questions about Italian life.  Grazie

For your unique travel experience in Italy contact for one of their many adventures in Italy.

Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

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