I was genuinely surprised at how much the boys enjoyed going to the Vatican today. We aren’t Catholic or anything close to it, and while I thought they might get a kick out of stepping into the world’s smallest country, I wasn’t sure a church would really hold their attention. But the instant we walked into St. Peter’s Basilica, they were both captivated.
The basilica is, of course, absolutely stunning. Built over the tomb of the first pope, St. Peter, the place is full of gold, marble, mosaics, and exquisite sculptures. It’s also incomprehensibly huge: the building covers six acres and holds up to 60,000 worshippers. The nave is two football fields long and the main altar is seven storeys high. Michelangelo’s famous dome is 430 feet from top to bottom. Unreal.
I’d had everyone download an audio guide that explained what we were looking at, but the kids had no patience for that. I was afraid they’d be bored, but the most incredible thing happened: they wandered around on their own, reading plaques and taking photos. I’d been here a couple times before, but I didn’t know about a staircase Brayden found that led down to an area filled with the tombs of past popes. The beauty of independent discovery.
It was amazing. Or as Brayden put it, “This place is dope as ****.”