St. Peter’s interior, Vatican
St Peter blessing the crowds lining up to rub his feet inside the Vatican’s prime property.
The Grottoes are of little interest but those with strong legs, resistance to claustrophobia and a few euros to spare may be prepared to pay to climb the narrow stairs up to the platform circling the outside of the dome for spectacular views over to the Castel Sant’ Angelo and the Tiber River.
One of St Peter’s more interesting sculptures, by Bernini (most Vatican works involve defunct popes blessing the hordes)
This work involves winged death – in gold on the right, clasping an hour glass – partly trapped under a (marble) cloak on which Pope Alexander VII is kneeling in prayer (out of sight).
La Pietá by Michelangelo in Saint Peter’s. Photo by Colin.
In 1972 a crazed geologist St Peter’s and battered La Pietá with a hammer shouting “I am Jesus Christ, I have risen from the dead! “, smashing off Mary’s arm and her nose. Helpful onlookers took many pieces of the marble shrapnel, never to be seen again so parts of Mary had to be restored without the benefit of original parts.
La Pietá is now back in St. Peter’s to the right of the entrance, but protected by bulletproof acrylic glass.
An unusually empty Basilica di San Pietro looking down to Bernini’s Cathedral Petri and Gloria, photo by Stefan Bauer
St Peter’s altar and baldachino, an astounding bronze pavilion by Bernini, by Ricardo Frantz.