We woke early again to make our way to St. Peter’s Square where you line up to get into St. Peter’s Basilica. There were some people lining up already, but it didn’t take long to reach the metal detectors and then into the Basilica.
There was a lot of line cutting by many. I later realized there were a bunch of masses going on inside and these people were all rushing in to attend one or many of them. I was in no rush, so the line cutters didn’t bother me.
Once we got inside, it was very impressive. It was dark inside, but there was enough light to photography without pumping up the ISO too crazy. I used a combination of my 70-200 f/4 lens with VR (and it helped a ton) as well as my trusty 14-24mm. I did find I actually used the 70-200mm quite a bit. In the end, the 14-24 came in real handy. Some of the very cool pictures I’ve seen on mostly 500px.com were ones where people have captured light beams coming into the basilica. The sun rose and lit up the entrance to the basilica. It shined through the windows at the entrance creating a huge light beam. I was hoping the very tip of the basilica would also have light beams, and they did, but they were quite faint. I couldn’t hang out inside for another 5 hours for the afternoon son instead. I think I cam away with a lot of cool pics.
We also got to walk through the grotto where they have buried or put on display the former popes of the Vatican. I couldn’t take pictures inside. No photos were allowed. Based on some information from a fellow traveller met about 2 days before, we entered into an area of the church that turned out to be off limits. We thought we had the right entrance into the grotto, but we were wrong. Instead a guard in a suit, like one from Davinci Code, came down the stairs after us. He was cool about it, and we apologized for entering in the wrong place. Now I wonder what was down there or maybe it was just a secondary entrance/exit to the grotto.
Afterwards, we made our way back to the hotel to clean up and rest.
For the evening shot, I decided to try my luck with street photography. It was after dinner where I shot this particular one I really like. It is a woman working in her shop. She had the door open and was concentrating so hard on her work that she didn’t hear my shutter clacking away. We made our way to the Pizza Navona again. They had some arts and craft sales people as well as some music. There was this particular characture that seemed to really enjoy his work more so than his competitors. He has such a warm smile on his face while making the characture, and a huge one once he was done and handing the art work over to the teenage girl. I have a lot to practice and learn. Once thing was not to try to shoot street stuff so late at night when there is no light and the ISO has to be pumped up.