Years ago, when I was all full of bullshit and youthful idealism about travel, I liked to get all dreamy-eyed and say to anyone who would listen, “I want to know what the Sistine Chapel smellllllls like!”
It takes nearly an eternity to actually arrive to the inner sanctum of the Chapel itself. Approximately 2.4 billion visitors per day (no shit! Per DAY!) are herded through The Vatican, which was why I couldn’t get face-time with Papa Francisco. Every one of the rooms has air purifiers and/or open windows for ventilation. I found that the place really has a lack of any sort of smell. It doesn’t smell old and musty, or like crusty paint or incense or any of the things you might think. Turns out that smell-wise, the Sistine Chapel is blank canvas of sorts for the humanity. And oh, the humanity! Because once I entered the art gallery that’s twenty feet from the holiest of holy chapels in the entire world, the smell of the Sistine Chapel hit me, literally, like an eggy, sulfurous cloud.
You know what the Sistine Chapel smells like?! Farts, you guys. The Sistine Chapel smells like farts. Because people like to desecrate sacred places, fill them up with their version of the smell of the Holy Ghost. Basically, the whole world is a twelve-year-old boy. Here’s a Reddit thread to illustrate my point.
And the guys right in front of me must’ve snarfed down a broccoli and black bean pizza the night before. When YOU go visit The Sistine Chapel, may your fellow humans have bathed prior to arrival and put on deodorant and refrain from belching, breathing on you or passing any vapors!