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The Vatican Reel

It is arguably the smallest state in the world and the Pope is its ruler. The Vatican is the seat of Roman Catholicism and is home to some of the world's most prized treasure trove; The Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica.

The grounds are guarded by Pontifical Swiss guards dressed in a tricolour (blue,red, and yellow) uniforms with a beret and a sword. To be a Swiss guard, one must be a Catholic, single and hail from Switzerland and trained under the Swiss military.

Make your way to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel during lunch time to avoid long queues. The ticket costs 16 euros and can be purchased online with a 4 euro reservation fee. Once you are in, just follow the signage leading you around the museum towards the Sistine Chapel.

The "Sphere within a Sphere" Statue at the Cortile del Belvedere depicts a huge fractured orb. Inside the cracked orb you can see another one. The design of the internal layers seems to imitate the gears or cogwheels of a complex machine such as a clock. It symbolizes the fragility and complexity of the world.

I tread past a golden globe into an arched entrance to find myself subdued in a gallery adorned with sculptures and busts of all sorts and shapes.

I tread surreptitiously from one room to another, cogging at every direction. Above me, a dome bedizined with 15th century Renaissance frescoes, and below a glistening black and white checkerboard marble flooring bouncing off the natural rays streaming through the high arched windows.

I walked through another corridor with another string of multiple gilded panels embossed with historical frescoes as its ceiling and inchoate maps of the world as its wall.

Out goes the sunlight and I stumbled onto another gallery, dimly lit and its entrance was kept close by a glass panel. I pushed it open and felt the sudden whiff of cool air on my skin. All around were precious tapestries borne out of the hands of 16th century weavers. I leaned closer, my gaze continue to follow the sinuous threads converging and diverging like a gilded filigree taking the shape of various biblical events.

Raphael's apartment stood nearing the end of this labyrinth. One particular room garnered the attention of many. I jostled my way through a throng of people to reach the back of the room and behold, Raphael's gripping depiction of philosophy, art and mathematics was etched across an imposing lunette.

Raphael's the School of Athens places Plato and Aristotle, both gesturing above and below representing their contrasting views on reality, at the centre. They craddle their lifelong ideology in the form books; Plato holding Timaeus and Aristotle with his Nicomachean Ethics. On the far left, Phythagor