Sure, this is not the usual snap of the Basilica one shares. But Vatican City has a million stories beyond the towering edifice of St Peters. In the background of this snap is the hotel built initially (and relatively recently) for the cardinals who are instrumental in the voting system for each new Papa. Its a system a tad akin to that used by the Eurovision Song Contest... ( or is it the other way round?) but it involves lock down. Previous to the construction of the hotel, the Cardinals slept the corridors. Dorm party anyone? Actually no, as the 70+ year olds all shared one or two bathrooms...
So here is the front view, looking almost devoid of folk compared to those moments in the year when it is filled to capacity with the faithful.
The Galleries which surround the Basilica are remarkable, extensive and illuminating. Impossible to absorb in one tour. One passes through kms of internal walls and ceilings crammed with paintings and statues including the odd Caravaggio, Ciccarello, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Despite being able to take photos I found the paintings impossible to capture. Too overwhelming. Sculptures and artefacts were easier.
"This man is a dentist so we can't show you his face..." or groin (... for non-Aussies and younger ones, its a reference to a toothpaste ad from the 70s)). Our tour leader felt this was as finer set of glutes one might encounter in VC.
So, still didn't find any basil... but 400 year old olive trees that still produce fruit... yep.
Inspiration for The Terminator look... the English Gardens at the Vatican.