April 13th, 2015.
The morning of my 19th birthday was spent climbing the duomo of the Basilica of St. Peter with Alejandra. It was a cool morning and when we got to St. Peter’s Square the line was already wrapped halfway around. We were a little discouraged, but to our surprise it actually moved really quickly. We paid our five euros and started to make the climb. There were a lot of old French people ahead of us, and we were joking with them at how many stairs we had left. The stairs kept changing too, at first they were long and short then they got really narrow, as we entered into the actual dome and the walls were slanted. It was unlike any climb I’ve ever done before on the many bell towers, and other monuments around Europe that we’ve done over the last 9 months. When we were just over halfway to the top, there was a section that we could look out over the basilica, which definitely was my favorite part. We were walking alongside the dome, our hands gliding over the thousand-year-old mosaics, and looking down into the basilica that we had entered many times before. It was an entirely new perspective, one that we weren’t expecting and definitely enjoyed, and the pictures don’t even do it justice.
Once we got to the top, there was a nice breeze to relieve our warmth from the climb of 551 stairs… and the top was much narrower than I expected. When you look at the peak of the dome from St. Peter’s Square, it doesn’t look like there would be much room up there for everyone and that’s definitely very accurate. It was such a cool opportunity, to climb it on my birthday also because neither Alejandra nor I had done it before. Once we took our time descending, and discussing Hilary Clinton’s recent announcement of running for President in the upcoming election, we made our way to a nearby café on Cicerone, for a sweet breakfast; a reward from our ‘strenuous’ morning 🙂