Only a 15 minute walk from my apartment, the Citta del Vaticano waited a while for me to fully explore. In my first days living in Rome, I checked out the St. Peter’s Square while the Christmas tree was still up – but it wasn’t until April that I mustered the courage to wander inside St. Peter’s Basilica, up to the highest tower, and through the many nooks and crannies and courtyards of the Vatican Museums.

The place is historic, no doubt, but also represents some of the worst and best of humanity – a paradox of a place throughout the ages.

Impressive. Opulent. Kind. Corrupt. Powerful.