Today, On to Rome

          I don't know if I'll ever get to Rome, but I feel less bad about that now that I have discovered a Website that provides a virtual tour of St. Peter's Basilica. You start from outside, in St. Peter's Square. Looking up, you can see the balcony from which the Pope periodically blesses the gathered crowds below.

          You know you are in Vatican City when, upon entering the church, you first catch sight of the Swiss Guards. And from the vestibule, you look inside the main church and are transported back through the centuries.

          The basilica is a veritable garden of fine and powerful sculptures. The statue of St. Andrew is fairly typical. The statue of St. Veronica is full of unexpected movement and energy.

          The basilica also contains two masterpieces of Michelangelo. The world-famous Pieta was among his earliest works, and the gorgeous Dome of St. Peter's among the very last.

January 2001