It’s one of my favorite travel memories. I visited the Vatican on a crisp, fall morning. There are usually long lines to see the Sistine Chapel, which is located deep within the walls of the Vatican’s papal palace. On most days, tour groups fill the Chapel and security guards are constantly hushing them. But this particular morning there were relatively few tourists and I had plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere of the Chapel. You may know it best as the place where Catholic cardinals gather to elect a new Pope.
With my guidebook in hand to explain what I was seeing, I had generous time with the amazing art on the walls and ceilings, much of it created by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, and other Renaissance master artists. The wall behind the altar contains Michelangelo’s magnificent rendering of The Last Judgment. But I was mesmerized by the frescoed ceiling–a small portion shown here, The Creation of Adam— that Michelangelo painted while standing on scaffolding, completing the project in 1512.
Now you can spend virtual time alone in the Sistine Chapel through the internet. Enjoy.