The following is a list of the Top 10 awe-inspiring, tourist-wowing, blink-twice-and-utter-a-gasp statements about St. Peter’s Basilica I include in my tour. They don’t always sound exactly like this, but they’re all zingers.

10. “Constantine and his men dismount and paint crosses on their shields and armour. Sure enough they are successful, they defeat Maxentius. Just as the vision promised”

9. “That’s not the Popes face. That’s Thorvaldsen’s face”

8. “The toe of Truth is sticking up a little, can you see that? It’s sticking up over Ireland. (thoughtful pause) Ireland, of course, still Catholic.”

7.”And if you were to hug your friends you’d make that same gesture. It’s no accident that they’re the same. The collonade of St. Peter’s Square represents the arms of the church, open wide to embrace the faithful. If it helps, imagine the dome as the popes hat.”

6. “That dove has a wingspan of seven feet.” [make flapping motion with arms to punctuate point]

5. “He snuck in that night and carved into the sash of Mary ‘Michalangelo Buonarotti a Florentine did this, faciebat” (meaningful pause). It’s the only work of art he ever signed.'”

4. The other thing about this painting, that’s not a painting, that’s an exact duplicate, a meticulous recreation of Raphael’s “Transfiguration of Christ” executed in glass tiles. Each about the size of your pinky fingernail.”

3. “We’re not just standing in the centre of the church, we’re standing in the very centre of ‘The Church’.”

2. “Pope Leo the Third sneaks up behind him, plants a crown on his head, crowning him the first Holy Roman Emperor. That man was Charlemagne.”

1. “For anyone listening in: this is a free tour, it’s free the whole time. If you’d like to join: follow me. If you get lost, look for me, I look like this.”