We had this immense structure almost to ourselves. Quiet and majestic. The structure was built in the 1500's and can hold 60,000 standing worshipers. That's a ton.
But the big show wasn't in St. Peters, it was under it. I read about a very exclusive tour beneath the current church, where the actual tomb of St. Peter has been excavated. The web site for the Vatican said to send a request for the tour months in advance, then pray that you are one of the chosen few.
I shot off an email two days out, told them I'm a prof who needs to see St. Peter's bones, and got a reply affirming a Saturday morning tour. God spiffed old master man again.
After my visit to the basilica, prayer time in the chapel, then obligatory coffee and ice cream, I walked to the Swiss guard house to gain admission. An intimate group of ten was ushered below the basilica, then down into ancient first century crypts and eventually to the place of St. Peter's tomb. We had a moment of silence to pray; it's powerful to stand at the grave of a man who walked with Christ.
I could ramble on about details, but I'd suggest you opt for the virtual tour:
This is how life is going for me. One blessing after another, inclusive of God's invitation to dig deeper into my relationship with Him with expectations for the future.
We're wrapping up this wonderful journey through Italy. Tomorrow is our last day in Rome, then we're blasting off for the US of A.