In my first article in this series I covered the generalities and historic background of the Vatican Necropolis. (Go back and read itif you haven't, I'll wait.) In this second post I'll cover the mausoleums in the underground tour under Saint Peter's Basilica, one by one with the its highlights. I hope this compendium will bring us closer to the people who built these tombs, the care they poured into these family spaces commissioning the decoration and the architecture, the dedication and the sentiment in making these the best place possible for their dead. And ultimately, let us go back…
I am not proud to say that I used to assume that Saint Peter's Basilica was just the biggest church in Christendom, the pilgrimage and gathering place of all Catholics in the world. What I didn’t know is that not only it is actually one of the most incredible examples of Late Renaissance architecture and Baroque art anywhere, but it is also a place that holds an unexpected secret... Underneath it you can find the Vatican Necropolis, a first century necropolis (city of the dead) -- basically a roman cemetery where the actual Tomb of Saint Peter is believed to…
So here's my final post of this three-part series about the Vatican Necropolis under Saint Peter's Basilica and the Tomb of Saint Peter. In the first article we covered some generalities and the historical background for Saint Peter's Basilica. In the second article we went one by one through the mausoleums in the Vatican Necropolis tour, explaining each major highlight. Today we finally reach St Peter's Tomb! Who Was Saint Peter? Peter was one of Twelve Apostles who accompanied Jesus. After Jesus' death, Peter led the founding the Christian church and became the first pope. 30 years after Jesus' death…
The sun-blessed Portuguese island of Madeira lies approximately 400km north of Tenerife, smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With year round warm weather, an incredibly scenic coastline and a wealth of cultural festivals you might be tempted to extend your stay on this island a little longer. A trip to Madeira will bring some unforgettable holiday experiences and allows you to explore the nearby golden island of Porto Santo. Saga Travel organise getaways to these two islands and are ready when you are, so let's take a look at what you can expect upon arrival. Compact But Diverse…
If you love all year round sun, beaches and nightlife, the Canary Islands are where you should head for your summer holiday in 2015. The sun-soaked screen of the West African coast has everything to offer. The best thing about a cruise is you can enjoy everything the Canaries have to offer, without committing to one place for the duration of your trip. You can sit back, relax and enjoy all your cruise package has to offer, just a stone’s throw from the shore. A day in Tenerife Tenerife is the biggest of the Canary Islands and boasts a huge…
Barcelona is an eclectic and vibrant city with a captivating culture. Travelers from around the world flock here for a taste of that savory Spanish cuisine, to admire the city's history and architecture, and of course for the opportunity to bump to Barcelona's rhythmic musical beats once the sun goes down. Given all there is to do in and around town, it's easy for first-time visitors to feel overwhelmed. To help you plan your itinerary, here are some of the best offbeat and off the beaten path things to do in Barcelona, each of which will give you a real…
Florence is a romantic and timeless city, rich in historical and cultural significance. Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and Donatello (no, not the Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles -- the famous artists from the 1400's) all help put Florence on the map. For hundreds of years, the city was a cultural and economic powerhouse known for its artwork. Nowadays this city is one of Italy's most romantic destinations and a must for all couples traveling to Tuscany. For all those traveling with their favorite furry family members, these are the most romantic pet-friendly hotels in all of Florence. Grand Hotel Minerva Centrally located…
I had dreamed of visiting Greece ever since high school when I first read the Iliad and the Odyssey. At the University of Arizona, my studies in art history compounded my fascination with ancient Greece. But for the time being, my experience with the country and its culture was confined to the descriptions and the washed out slideshow images offered by my professors. After graduation, I felt even more compelled to make it to these places which were, quite literally, the stuff of legends. It would take many years, but I would finally make it to Greece. If you're an…
It was about 9pm on a mildly warm Tuesday night when our bus came to a meandering crawl in Requena, Spain. This was not just any Tuesday night. It was the night before the annual tomato throwing festival known as La Tomatina. Tomatina was to be held in the small town of Bunol the following afternoon. That didn't stop the entire province of Valencia from joining in on the celebration, however. This was the night of the annual Water and Wine Festival in Requena. I had been looking forward to this event for some time. Not just because I wanted…
The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it. ―Christopher Columbus A great collection of breathtaking landscapes dotted with wonderful beaches, a cup of sweet Latin vibe melted in the most sensual language, dramatic pueblos reminding of long gone periods, beautiful cities designed by famous artists seems to be the perfect recipe for romance and Spain is the consequence of their combination which gives it the status of one of the most romantic countries alongside France and Italy. Seville is the capital of Andalucía, the city of Carmen, the birthplace…
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