Rome – Tuesday

My company provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience — a private after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  Instead of viewing the collection and chapel with 25,000 of our closest friends, there were just 60 of us.  The only downside is that we only had 1.5 hours inside, so it was a quick trip through a limited number of galleries, to give us more time to enjoy the Sistine Chapel.

Photography is not allowed in the chapel, but here are a few of my favorite shots from the Vatican Museums.

One of the lions supporting a red marble sarcophagus, made to hold the remains of a daughter of Emperor Constantine:

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Mosaic of Athena on the floor in front of the sarcophagus:

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Bacchus statue with the original glass eyes:

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The Map Gallery, and some of the scenes on the wildly ornate ceiling:

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These bas-reliefs were actually flat paintings on a curved ceiling:

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We did a short photography tour in the morning, with stops at the Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill), the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, the Teatro di Marcello, and the Arch of Constantine:

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Up next – Florence.

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