A day at Piazza San Pietro

August marks one of the most warmest period in Italy. Cart warned me about temperatures soaring to about 40 degrees Celsius. Madness! With this comes a sort of tradition in Rome for its inhabitants to go on vacation during these times to find respite.

One of the popular destinations are the beach. Italians seem to love to tan! And you’d see loads of brown-skin Italians going by. But I still cant get used to seeing Caucasians as dark as or even darker than I am. Maybe its just my Asian way of thinking.

Rinaz at the Sports Center in Roma 12 Italy

Its funny how when in the first trimester, I don’t feel like going out because of the cold, nowadays I’d just hide away at home from the scorching heat. Hence, its a great time for some backdated posts! And today, lets explore Saint Peter’s Square or also known as Piazza San Pietro.

Piazza San Pietro

When we hosted Jerrick in March, we decided to head over to Piazza San Pietro on a Sunday afternoon. Although I’ve already been here, it still amazes me at how large and opulent the place was.

Piazza San Pietro

It makes me wonder, how on earth was this build constructed? Considering that when it was designed in the late 1600s, building technology was not so advanced. Just carrying the sheer amount of marble alone on a horse and carriage is a Herculean feat.

Piazza San Pietro
And the lord said, I is awesum!

I spotted a couple of Swiss Guards outside the build to protect the Pope.

Swiss Guards at Piazza San Pietro

Cart tells me an interesting information about Swiss Guards – it was a requirement for them to be Swiss, Catholic and between 19 to 30 years old. But nowadays, I suppose that their function is more as a decorational tradition (I might be wrong on that though) since the pope has another set of bodyguards. I even saw a couple of tourists trying to persuade the Swiss Guards to pose and take pictures with them. You cant do that!

Entering San Pietro requires a number of rules to be fulfilled. One of them being that the visitor must be decently dressed. Not such a problem for me since I was all bundled up in the semi winter weather.

Piazza San Pietro

There was also a queue that you had to get in where they will do a metal detector check and x-ray bag checks. I was unfortunately carrying a small bottle of tabasco sauce that day and the guard was looking at the screen and then me quizzedly.

Luckily for me, I passed through. Phew!

Piazza San Pietro
Obi Wan is not amused

I guess it was rather fortunate for us to go to San Pietro on a Sunday since there was a mass. I’ve never seen a mass at San Pietro before. I’ve only caught the Pope waving his hand at the balcony on the telley if that counts

Piazza San Pietro

If it was opulent outside, the inside was extremely grand to me. Everywhere you walk, there were always be something to see – be it a fresco or a decoration. One big mistake that many tourists do is that they just walk through quickly. Slow down and really take a look at these crafts. Cart tells me that San Pietro is never completed anyway, as in the build is always ever expanded.

Piazza San Pietro

On a semi-related note, Cart and I were talking about the symbols of the cross today. He said that many schools had that. And I told him that there was one in the classroom for that I was in for my Italian language class. I didn’t feel uncomfortable but it just makes me feel more aware that I was a minority.

Piazza San Pietro

Similar to the Santa Sabina Church that Cart and I visited in Circo Massimo, there were tombs dedicated to the popes in San Pietro. To be honest, I find it a little bit creepy. What if the eyes open?

I finally saw a working confessional booth

Piazza San Pietro

Okay, its probably not such a big deal. But the only ones that I’ve seen are the ones from television. So I’ve this glamourised point of view of confessional booths. But in real life, how many of the confessors will confess about crime related confessions right? Or the priest turns out to be a vampire

In any case, we reached the area where the mass was.

Piazza San Pietro

It was cordoned with a velvet rope. I wanted to go in and take a closer look but Cart doesn’t seem to be comfortable with the idea since the three of us weren’t Catholics. So we looked from afar. I couldn’t see anything!

At length, there were a couple of extremely handsome men in black suits cordoning us as the mass was going to do a procession. Coolness! Are they going to sing around San Pietro? I quickly readied my camera.

Okay, it wasn’t that long, but it was still rather interesting to see. Cart tells me that the procession was according to age, youngest first and the eldest are at the back.

All in all, it was a pretty cool day. I quite enjoyed myself

Too bad I didn’t get to see the pope

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15 thoughts on “A day at Piazza San Pietro”

  1. I’m not Catholic either, but I’m really fascinated by the architecture and traditions of the Catholic church. I’m really looking forward to the day when I can visit Rome myself.

  2. @rinaz, I was sarkastic :)

    I think I as an atheist understand Jesus more than some Catholics and other Christians. They will disagree. Which is understandable. Because they ‘understand’, ehem… *cough

  3. Tales

    I think you’d like it, there are quite a bit to see apart from the touristy areas like Garbatella and Gianicolo :-)


    HO HO HO! I knew that!

    A huge ass building dedicated to humility :-P

  4. Yes ;-) Usually big huge buildings like cathedrals radiate power rateher than humility. From the architectual standpoint, I like these buildings and I’d love to see the Vatikan. From the religious view, it is just not what I imagine under submission to God. Centuries ago, it looked more like: I’m Gods representative here, so listen to me! …and donate :)

  5. MKL

    Maybe we can start a cult of Marina so that people can donate their money to me eh? :-P


    Yeay! And when you do, let me know when!!!


    Maybe you can come again, in different seasons this time :-)


    Definitely, its an experience by itself and there are heaps to see around here :-)


    And to you too! Hehehe


    Nah … I’m not pregnant. Trimester means the 1/3 of the year right? Like semester :-P


    Yes, it takes a while to look at the paintings and decorations inside. One needs at the very least 2 hours!

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