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If you want to know the Vatican and its curiosities you are in the right place! Thanks to Turing Fixer you will discover some interesting peculiarities. In fact, the smallest state in the world, in addition to being the seat of the Pope’s residence and the seat of the Vatican Museums, famous all over the world, welcomes millions of tourists every year. Let’s make a challenge to understand when you are an expert: do you know everything about the Vatican and its curiosities? Did you know that there is a heart-shaped sampietrino in St. Peter’s Square? Or do you know where the name “Vatican” comes from? Read on and find out if you know all the secrets and curiosities of the smallest state in the world.

The heart-shaped sampietrino

Understanding how many cobblestones there are in Rome is really difficult, but there is one that is easier to find. In St. Peter’s Square, to the left of the Obelisk and south-west of the Rosa dei Venti, there is a sampietrino that has become famous for its particular heart shape. This was renamed by the Romans: “er core de Nerone” (Nero’s heart) . One of the legends claimed that Nero’s circus was held in the same spot where the Vatican stands today. In that place many martyrs lost their lives, for this reason it is believed that the heart was engraved in memory of all those who have suffered persecutions. According to others, the story would be different: the sampietrino was nicknamed “er core de Nerone” by some imaginative children while they were playing. Another legend states that the heart was placed in that spot by Bernini or Michelangelo. Bernini would have positioned the sampietrino while he was building the colonnade in St. Peter’s Square, as a symbol of a love never found. Instead, it is claimed that Michelangelo positioned the heart after making the Sistine Chapel, as a symbol of a broken love.

As we have understood, there are several legends that hide behind the heart-shaped sampietrino. What we can do is visit the Vatican so as to understand which of these, in your opinion, is the most correct theory.

The Vatican and its curiosities - St. Peter's Square
St. Peter’s Square – The Vatican and its curiosities

Where does the term “Vatican” come from?

In ancient times the Vatican was the name of one of the hills of Rome. It was located to the right of the Tiber, it is described as a humid and unhealthy place, used for grazing cattle. On the hill Nero had a circus built. In this place some Christians were executed, including St. Peter’s, which is why the Vatican square takes its name.

Why didn’t Michelangelo want to paint the Sistine Chapel?

In 1508 Michelangelo was entrusted with the task of building the tomb of Pope Julius II. When Bramante asked Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, the sculptor refused the offer several times. This is because Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor with little experience in painting and frescoes. Having provoked the Pontiff’s wrath, Buonarroti could not help but accept.

Touring Fixer allows you to visit one of the greatest masterpieces in the world thanks to the section dedicated to the “Vatican”.

Sistine Chapel - The Vatican and its curiosities
Sistine Chapel – The Vatican and its curiosities

If you liked the mysteries revealed, you can discover others with the tours on the Touring Fixer website! Let yourself be fascinated by every little detail and mystery that surrounds the smallest state in the world: the Vatican.

 

* Tours available all year round except Sundays and the closing days of the Vatican Museums, for any request please do not hesitate to contact us!

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