Yesterday we toured St. Peter’s Basilica. After a short wait in the beautifully constructed square (complete with a multitude of columns, an obelisk and a bronzed statue of a pine cone). I entered the basilica and was stunned by the opulence. Everywhere you look there is gold, statues, bronze and stained glass. The outer courtyard houses over 100 statues of saints, while directly inside the church is Michelangelo’s “Pieta” (which I learned from a passing tour guide, was almost destroyed in the 80’s when someone lunged after the statue with a hammer and managed to break off a foot). In a small alcove to the left, people watched a mass, and a line of choir boys filled the entire cathedral with music. We later learned that St. Peter’s basilica is the largest cathedral in the world and until the 1900’s was the tallest building in all of Rome. Afterwards we crossed the street and visited Old Bridge Gelato, where gelato is served by the kilo gram. An overall excellent day.