Day Twenty-Five

I got to go inside the walls of Vatican city today! We went to see the Vatican mosaic studio where they restore the many mosaics of St. Peters and also create new mosaics. The security was pretty tight getting into the place, including getting clearance from the infamous Swiss guard and their snazzy outfits. Unfortunately, no cameras today so I snagged an image off the web for those of you who have not seen their awesome uniforms.

I marked the path we took to the studio on the map below. The staff at the mosaic studio demonstrated a few things for us including how to melt down the glass they use and combine colors. They used a very powerful torch and mixed the glass together, then the guy stretched it bit by bit, kind of like taffy. They have a huge indexing system that organizes over 27,000 colors of glass. Some of it is the original ancient glass used in the mosaics, they also have new colors which they use to replicate famous paintings in glass.

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