Wood carving of the Virgin Mary by LISE woodcarvings in Italy. This company is an artisan’s workshop with extensive experience in the design and production of religious woodcarvings. The sculpture depicts a praying woman with a halo. She is wearing a red dress and a blue cloak with scarf with gold trim at the neck and wrists. She stands on a blue ball. Tag: “LISE: Made in Italy. Culture in Legend: Wood Carvings.”
Capital: Vatican City
Main language: Italian
Construction: wood carving
Height in Centimeters: 15
Height in Inches: 6
Reading Level: 5.50
My name is Lucio and I live in Vatican City. The Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Only a few hundred people live here – including the Catholic Pope. There are very few other children to play with in Vatican City. All of us are kids of the Swiss Guard. The Swiss Guard is the elite army that protects the Pope.
There are 135 Swiss guards stationed here. All guards must be Swiss citizens, at least 5’8” tall, male, educated, military trained, and devoted Catholics. Most of the men are not married. However, a few live here with wives and children. There are no schools in Vatican City. Instead, our parents drive us to a nearby school in Rome.
Members of the Swiss Guard have been protecting the Pope for over 600 years. My dad and the other guardsmen wear uniforms of red, yellow, and blue. When a guard is standing on Honor Duty, he holds a halberd (a long, ancient weapon). This means he should not be spoken to. If a guardsman is standing with folded hands, that means he will talk with tourists. If Dad is on security duty with the Pope, he will dress differently and carry modern weapons.
My favorite place to visit in Vatican City is the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling was painted by Michelangelo about 600 years ago. To paint the high ceiling, he had to create a scaffold and lay on his back. It took him four years to finish the painting. Can you imagine being up so high and painting while on your back?
I also like to go to Mass with my family in St. Peter’s Basilica. It is a beautiful cathedral in the center of Vatican City. It has a very large courtyard. There are usually lots of tourists there. Inside the Basilica, there is a sculpture by Michelangelo. It’s called “La Pieta.” It is a statue of Mary holding her son after the crucifixion.
My Dad’s tour of duty at the Vatican will end soon. I will really miss the beautiful gardens, statues, and monuments. However, I will be happy to return to my homeland – Switzerland.