Flashback to July 4, 2018. It is a hot and humid day in Rome, Italy. I am wearing a long sleeve white top, tassel earrings, and pink capri pants with lobsters printed on them (courtesy of Crown & Ivy sold at Belk!). The subway is crammed to the max like none of us have ever seen before in our lives. I clutch my then-brand-new pink Italian leather crossbody to my chest. I am walking with my classmates and professors on our group outing to The Vatican (which is a WHOLE other country!!). We, then, get to The Vatican. We get to our tour and, low and behold, it is just as crammed and hot and sweaty and humid as the subway was in Rome. Every single tourist and their sister and brother and Aunt and Uncle times 200 is there. While I feel extremely blessed to have seen The Vatican and the iconic paintings within the Sistine Chapel, I felt miserable and disappointed at the hot and humid environment packed to the rim full of people. So, when I heard that an interactive exhibit of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings was coming to the Tysons Corner Center Mall in Tysons, Virginia, I knew I needed to book a ticket pronto!

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibit was held at Tysons Corner Center located in Tysons, Virginia – a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC notorious for its booming business district and malls (one of which is Tysons Corner Center where it was held!). I happened to find the tickets on Facebook via an advertisement which is typical for me to find EVERYTHING nowadays – haha! – and then went into the Fever app (the same app where one can purchase tickets to an interactive Vincent Van Gogh exhibit, Claude Monet exhibit, or iconic Netflix’s Bridgeton Ball in their own respective cities across the United States) to order my solo ticket. Then, my adventure awaited.

Although this Sistine Chapel exhibit isn’t still on display at the Tysons Corner Center at this exact moment that I am writing this blog post, it still felt like a dream come true. I personally didn’t stay for long, as I have seen many of these works of art either in real life or very similar works of art when I studied abroad in Tuscany, Italy and London, England and traveled to Paris, France to see ALLLL of the extraordinary works of art including the iconic Mona Lisa at the Louvre. But, it was still super amazing to see the several works of art that I had barely gotten to enjoy while visiting The Vatican amongst the sweltering heat and crowds. While at Tysons Corner Center, I got to view every single painting that I saw at a distance within a sea of people up close. It was a pretty amazing experience if you ask me.

Having studied abroad in Italy, it was so nice to see a touch of Italy here in the United States and especially in my hometown of Washington, DC.

XOXO – Katie <3

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