It has always been a dream of mine to visit Rome, right from having Primary School history lessons on Ancient Rome, learning about Gladiators and having pretend Roman banquets. Of course more recently I have developed a huge interest (
say rather…obsession) with the Borgia family who had a huge part to play in the history of Renaissance Rome. We all know the stories of the Borgia family, the scandalous rumours of murder and incest that swept not only Rome, but the world also, at the time. And now, I have the chance to walk the streets of Rome, to see the sites that the Borgia family would have seen and known. And I am beyond excited.
Of course, the area I am most looking forward to visiting, thanks to its links with my favourite Renaissance family, is the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica. Not only that but the history of the Vatican has close links to Tudor history – with the refusal to grant Henry VIII’s annulment. That however, is a different story for a different day. I am seriously looking forward to visiting the Vatican, wandering around its museums (because it has a good few!!) and seeing the Sistine Chapel. I remember being told some years ago by my Grandmother that gazing at the Sistine Ceiling, painted by Michelangelo and commissioned in 1508 by Pope Julius II – he worked on the ceiling between 1508 and 1512, but was called back to do more painting in the chapel when he was over 60 years old and commissioned to paint The Last Judgement by Pope Clement VII (just before this Pope’s death in 1534). The Last Judgement is still considered to be a masterpiece.