My visit to St. Peter's Basilica was a monumental event in my life after hearing so much about it over the years. It did not disappoint. From the time I was a child in grade school I heard the stories of its role in history and I saw the historic photos.
One only has to step through the doors to grasp it's sheer size. Walking from front to back is much like walking the full length of a very large mall....twice. Being on a private tour that I arranged in advance allowed my friend and I to skip the long lines and walk right in.
The high altar is a spectacular sight with all of it's gold trimmings and papal decorations.
I found myself wondering how such an amazing place has existed since 1626.
I also thought about St. Peter's tomb far below my feet.
My lens found its way to this beautiful statue of St. Therese by Filippo Della Valle. Her face was so full of emotion as she appears to have been interrupted from her writings.
Of course, the most popular statue in the basilica is Michelangelo's Pieta which now is viewed behind bulletproof glass after a vicious attack with a hammer back in 1972. How anyone could want to destroy such a beautiful piece of art is beyond my ability to understand.
Back on the outside, I took some time to admire Bernini's Colonnade that encircles the basilica.
And this seagull and I both admired Malerno's fountain at the center of the piazza.
Visiting this historic place is an experience I won't forget.