As you would expect, the tapestries are spectacular. The one I found most amazing was this one, of Jesus exiting the tomb. No matter which way you stand, Jesus looks right at you.

From the left ..

2009 04 09 The Vatican-69

From the right … (sorry, blurry) ..

2009 04 09 The Vatican-71

Like everyone, the ultimate goal is the Sistine Chapel. Before you get there you go through the ‘Gallery of Maps’, which displays 40 maps of the Church’s territories by 16th century cartographer Ignazio Danti:

2009 04 Vatican Gallery of Maps_

2009 04 Vatican Gallery of Maps_-5

The map of Venice was one of my favorites:

2009 04 Vatican Gallery of Maps_-11

It is then through Raphael’s Rooms (private apartments that were redecorated by Raphael thanks to Pope Julius II’s sponsorship), which contains one of his more famous pieces of work, The School of Athens, which contains the most famous of philosophers (And it is suggested that Raphael painted himself into the work (on the right – head down, painting).

2009 04 The School of Athens 1511_-2

And Salvador Dali’s painting ‘The Trinity’ which is a beautiful piece. I wonder about the inspiration for this painting. When we walked through his exhibit in London, he did not strike me as the ‘spiritual’ sort.

2009 04 09 Vatican Dali_

Next, the Sistine Chapel ….

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