When In Rome II: 92-Year Pilgrimage in the Making to The Vatican

Around one o’clock, we took my 92-year old Grandmother to the lobby of the hotel to wait for our transfer to the Vatican. We had originally booked a tour to see the Vatican. When we arrived at the Vatican we were told that we couldn’t do the tour, due to her being in a wheelchair. When visiting The Vatican with a wheelchair, it can definitely be done. You are able to see some of the museums, the magical Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica. Just keep in mind, that many of the museums are not wheelchair friendly. There may be many or several steps leading up/down to where they are. So you may need to do detours. You may not be able to do a guided tour with many of the tour companies that do provide this. I would highly recommend not purchasing one if you are traveling with a wheelchair. However, you can find more personalized tours on a website called Tours By Locals. They may be more expensive, but this way they can customize it to your needs and wants.
Ceiling Paintings of the Vatican Museum
So, while we were not able to see the beautiful Vatican Statues, we were able to still see some of the beautiful artifacts. I had previously done a tour to the Vatican, but saw a different part. This way my Grandma was able to see some of the beautiful walls, paintings, and ceilings, while seeing different relics of time gone by. We were even able to see the Flag from The Vatican State that was carried by Apollo 11 and fragments of the Moon from the Moon Landing.
We made our way to the entrance of the Sistine Chapel, which did have stairs, but they have a wheelchair lift, and a ramp once you get there. My Grandma was able to marvel at the Sistine Chapel along with everyone else (it was quite packed!) Originally painted blue with golden stars, until the 1508 Pope Julius II hired Michelangelo (a sculptor and not known for his use of a brush). With the help of a theologian from the Vatican, Michelangelo began creating his masterpiece with paintings from The Old Testament and the painting of The Creation of Heaven and Earth. Two of the most important scenes on the ceiling are The Creation of Adam, and the Fall of Adam and Eve/Expulsion from the Garden and the story of Noah and the Great Flood. The Creation of Adam being the most famous of these portraits. Please know, you cannot take pictures in the Sistine Chapel, and if you are found to take a picture or a video, there are several guards that will remove your pictures/videos from your phone, your phone entirely, and you from the premises. So I would recommend not even attempting it.
Fresco Painting of Creazione di Adamo (1511) by Michelangelo from Wikipedia
After the Sistine Chapel we made our way to St Peter’s Basilica. For access to that for wheelchair accessibility, you do have to exit the premises, and follow the wall along to get to the Church. As longs as you don’t go to St. Peter’s Square, you are able to get on the ramp to go into it. It also gives you a sort of “Skip the Line” as well. So that was pretty nice. We wheeled her up to the Basilica to look at the beauty. She was so overcome with emotions. She sat and prayed next to Pope John Paul II who is buried at the Basilica. He was her favorite Pope. I know being that close to him meant more than many of us could even imagine. Even if he was in a tomb. Next, we walked past the other areas of the Basilica. Before we were invited to attend the mass. We were able to bypass the wall that was in place and sat for the mass and received communion, which was in Italian. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was not from the Pope. However, it was extraordinary.

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As the Basilica closed, we were able to see the Changing of the Swiss Guards, before we walked away from St Peter’s Square, and found a place nearby to have dinner. img_7104.jpg The emotions she had at this moment was amazing. Never in all of her years, had she thought she would come to Rome and see The Vatican. Her son (and granddaughter) had taken her on this amazing pilgrimage. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us, to share this with her. It will be something I will never forget.

Categories: Adventure, Featured, life list, Outdoors, passport, Religion, Religions, Spontaneous, travel, Uncategorized, Vatican

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