Five weeks into the program, and it was only the third Sunday we've been in Rome. Next weekend was out, as were the three after following just one weekend in Rome. Traveling really seems to have gotten in the way of studio time. We had been to many churches already, to the point where I have really lost count. (I am guessing over 50, but probably closer to 100, considering our city count alone is already cloudy). But we hadn't yet been inside St. Peter's. It isn't tourist season yet, so today would end up being a great opportunity for attending mass inside the basilica.
"Wow," I mumbled over and over, whispered more absentmindedly than out of consciously. To the right was the Pieta.* Above was a towering, ornate roof. Below our feet was incredibly intricate marble detailing, with flush markers of many of the world's largest churches inside the nave. Ahead was the Baldacchino, whose Solomonic columns alone tower for 66 feet. Everywhere in between was rich art, enclosed by some of the most magnificent architecture in the world. And I was finally inside.
Mass itself was in the apse, where Bernini's Cathedra Petri decorates one of the most elaborate chapels I have seen. There seems to be a new mass every hour or so on the weekend, in various chapels around the church with smaller crowds relative to the entire basilica. I have been struggling with paying full attention to the mass when sitting in these wonderful spaces. Your eyes go everywhere, and not knowing Italian only aids in my distraction.
Later, we went to Les Mis. Nothing beats the original, but this new movie was pretty good. It was really cool to see some of the spaces in France we had toured just two weekends ago.
*Michelangelo carved the Pieta at 23. Just the esteem-boost I need for my own portfolio.