This photo was taken on Sunday, November 15th, just outside our vacation rental doorway. At the end of the street, you can see a tall building. The building is on the outside border of the Vatican City.
Across the street you can see part of the wall that surrounds the Vatican. The Vatican City is the headquarters of the Catholic Church. It is where the pope lives.
The black car in this photo is driving into the Vatican City. There are two armed Swiss Guards who stand at the gate. Tourists can’t enter here.
The sculptures surrounding the Vatican and within all of Rome are remarkable.
A lot of people were walking toward these double arches. It was our first day in Rome and we had just planned to wander around.
After we passed under the arches we realized that there was a big even happening. A lot of people had gathered.
In fact, thousands and thousands of people had gathered to hear the pope speak. He was giving the Sunday blessing.
We couldn’t get into the middle of the crowd but we walked around the outside and saw the crowd and movie screen broadcasting the pope to the audience as he spoke from his apartment window.
The large columns surround St. Peter’s Square.
There is a obelisk in the middle of St. Peter’s Square. The obelisk is the tall, pointed spire to the left in this photo.
We could see the pope on the movie screen on the right.
St. Peter’s Square was designed with all these columns to create the effect of “embracing” or “giving a hug” to the crowds that gather there.
You can see the big dome of St. Peter’s Basilica behind the square buildings. At night, they light up the dome and it’s very pretty.
After the pope finished speaking, the crowd left and we walked around the square to see the statues on the tops of the buildings.
This is one “arm” of St. Peter’s Square. Notice all the people lined up near the columns. They’re waiting in line to go into St. Peter’s Basilica.
Catholics would recognize the square plaque behind the man with the red backpack. It’s one of the stations of the cross. These plaques were located in St. Peter’s Square.
The pope spoke from his apartment out of one of these windows.
After we walked around for a while, we decided to get a postcard to send to South Platte.
We wanted to mail it from the Vatican.
The South Platte Knight at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City.
A lot of people don’t realize that the Vatican City is a city as well as a country. Though there are only about 1000 people who live in the Vatican, it has its own government and its own economy.
The Vatican also operates it’s own postal service. Supposedly, the Vatican has a more reliable postal service than Rome. Here John is walking through to mail the postcard back home.
On Wednesday, November 19th, we decided to see if we could get a better view of the pope in St. Peter’s Square. In the center of the photo, way back in the distance, the pope is sitting on his chair.
Here we’re entering St. Peter’s Square again. The crowd is smaller because it’s a Wednesday and there aren’t many tourists this time of the year.
We were able to get very close to the pope as he rode through the crowd in his little white car. You can see him as the figure in white in the middle of this photo.
He is blessing people and some people get close enough to touch him.
He rode past us twice and then he spoke for a while in Italian. We were excited to get to see him directly.
Rome Travel: Mass at the Vatican
Rome Attractions: The Vatican in Rome (video)
What to See in Rome: The Pope