“Are we going to Rome now?” I asked myself excitedly as we left Venice, the underwater city of Italy. As a child, I dreamt of going to the place of the ruthless gladiator battles, the places where emperors such as Nero used to rule, a place of human creativity, and endless history. Throughout this city, you can see the limitless amount of human abilities displayed through the creations of the past.
When we first entered the city, I saw the historical structures such as the Forum where the ancient Roman republic ruled. I also saw Colosseum, which I learned of from picture books and fairy tales, where I dreamed of strong men fighting for their lives. Without the use of mechanical equipment, the buildings all made from massive pieces of stones such as marble and granite, must have weighed tons!
The next day of our trip, we toured the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel. The hallways contained the smallest amount of light to preserve these irreplaceable objects. The paintings that covered the walls made you feel like you were inside the mind of Michelangelo; they exploded with color and made your mind feel shamed inside the presence of such a master of trade.
The way every stroke of paint went on the wall of this blank dark room affected the rest of the individual pictures. Seven pictures down the center of the ceiling depicted the story of creation with pictures of prophets of the Old Testament surrounding each frame. Other paintings of historical events cover the walls around the room with visitors gazing, trying to think of how one man could do this great feat of art. After having to move on from the chapel, I wondered what could be greater. What could “wow” my mind after this magnificent display of creativity? I then anticipated what awaited me around the next corner.
As I walked through the massive, extraordinary hallways of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vatican City, Italy, I became astounded. The large framed murals spread all throughout the cathedral, unique in their own way, displayed the distinctive art styles of their time and showed the stories from Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection to the life of the disciples. The Latin letters that streamed across the walls seemed just within reach but actually were nine feet in height, truly giving me a glimpse of the buildings actual size. When looking to the sky the many domes tower above your head including the largest dome in the world. The beautiful paintings, covering the tops of the domes, make you wonder how they got there, as though angels painted them. Instead, a human being spent innumerable late nights painting countless strokes with his small delicate brush, causing us to wonder how a mortal could complete such a masterpiece of art and display it to all who enter this magnificent structure. The many chapels that connected to the main hallway appeared as gorgeous as many churches that are scattered throughout the rest of Europe. Constructed in 1626, the cathedral still is the main church of the active pope and connects to the pope’s private apartments. While walking through the main hallways, I thought about how many people walked the streets right outside of here and how many men traveled through the exact place where I stood. Just standing in the footsteps of men that have preceded me and shaped the course of history becomes a blessing in itself. To see the power and creativity throughout all the masterpieces of art throughout this city has shaped me into the creative individual I am today.
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