Ho, Ho, Holy Spirit Is High And So Is The Desire To Spend The Holidays In The Most Exotic Place. Pack Your Bags, And Sit Tight We Are Taking You To Italy!
When it starts smelling a lot like warm spices and fresh-baked goods, we know Christmas is around the corner. But this year let’s take it up a notch, ditch the cozy blanket and the same old Christmas movies, and take a trip to the most magical place during Christmas. If you truly want to live up to the true spirits of Santa, Vatican City, Italy is the place for you!
More than your typical Christmas wonderland, Vatican City’s spirit is higher than Santa’s sleigh. The celebrations start on the 8th of December and last until January 6th – the Epiphany. Tucked cozily within its ancient walls, the Vatican City becomes a radiant paradise in December where faith meets festivity. The magnificent Christmas tree stands tall and sparkly at St. Peter’s Square, an incredible sight to witness.
And then comes the most watched Christmas Eve Mass! We like to call it the “Pope’s Midnight Mass.” Don’t make the mistake of confusing this with your average church service, but this midnight banger draws pilgrims from every corner of the globe. The city celebrates the upcoming birth of Jesus. The church echoes with hymns, prayers, and the notable joy of the faithful. It’s an otherworldly experience, a celestial symphony that carves into your soul. The city casts a magical glow upon the ancient cobblestones and every corner shines bright.
Let’s not forget the Urbi et Orbi, the awe-inspiring blessing by the pope himself. Urbiet Orbi takes place twice a year – on Easter and Christmas Day. Standing in the heart of the city, St. Peter’s Square, his holiness delivers his Christmas message to the crowd. Trust us, even if you aren’t religious Vatican City still holds something in store for you!
Moving onto the flavors that deck the table during this joyous time. Rome delicacies set the mood right. Panettone, a fluffy, fruit-studded Christmas bread, reigns supreme, accompanied by its faithful companion, Pandoro, a golden, star-shaped cake dusted with powdered sugar. Locals swear by struffoli, honey-drenched dough balls that evoke childhood nostalgia with every bite. Our recommendation would be to indulge in cappelletti, delicate pasta parcels stuffed with flavourful fillings, and savor the richness of baccalà, a dish of salted cod that speaks volumes about the city’s culinary heritage.
PLACES TO VISIT DURING YOUR STAY IN VATICAN CITY
The Vatican Museums – Undoubtedly, the Vatican Museums stand as a prime allure within the Vatican City, housing an impressive array of fifty-four individual collections. Encompassing an extensive nine-mile stretch of artistic marvels, these museums proudly exhibit the creations of illustrious figures like Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, among other distinguished artists. The total value of this collection is estimated to soar beyond an astonishing 15 billion euros. Noteworthy among these museums are the Map Gallery, the Sculpture Gallery, the Vatican History Museum, and, naturally, the revered Raphael Rooms—all esteemed highlights within this expansive cultural hub.
Vatican Mosaic Studio – A few doors from the pope’s private residence, is the famous Mosaic Studio that was formally established in 1727, Mosaics made their inaugural appearance in the Vatican during the late 16th century. Fascinated by this art form, Pope Gregory XIII envisioned embellishing the interiors of St. Peter’s Basilica with these shimmering artworks. To realize his vision, he enlisted mosaic artisans from Venice, renowned for their exemplary work in Byzantine architecture and mosaics at the 11th-century St. Mark’s Basilica. These Venetian artisans were summoned to the Vatican with the task of imparting their expertise to Roman craftsmen, teaching them the intricate techniques needed to create similar mesmerizing mosaics.
Sistine Chapel – The moment you step foot into this divine chamber, your gaze is inevitably drawn to the artwork that adorns its ceiling and walls, all masterpieces crafted by the unparalleled Michelangelo. Adorning the ceiling’s eastern expanse is his magnum opus, the transcendent “Last Judgment,” an awe-inspiring fresco that vividly portrays the second coming of Christ. This mesmerizing artwork, pulsating with vibrant colours and intricate detailing, captivates visitors, inviting them to delve into the depth of its spiritual narrative. But the grandeur doesn’t end there. The chapel, situated along the north side of the basilica and a stone’s throw away from the city centre, is a living testament to the unparalleled artistic prowess We have given you your unforgettable Christmas rendezvous! Don’t wait to witness the bells chime and the stars twinkle brightly in Vatican City!