13 hours ago
A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Italy - part 7 of 8
1 June 2004 - in flight(cont'd)
Friday morning we left for Rome. G found a kitten at the villa, and DD went nuts over it. There was an interesting scene with the kitten and its mother - mom kept trying to get the kitten across the driveway but it was too big to carry. When she dropped the kitten, it'd scramble back under a bush and mom kept trying to drag it out. The whole episode was pretty funny.
The drive to Rome was uneventful - if Italian driving can ever be said to be uneventful! We checked into our hotel near the Trevi fountain, and met everyone there in the afternoon. The Trevi fountain was very big, and the place was packed with tourists and street vendors. Some of the vendors, especially the rose-sellers, are rather pushy!
After meeting up with folks, we went to the Forum and looked around. (Wish I could say something funny happened on the way there, but alas I can't use that line...) There were a lot of ruins in the Forum, and it was rather dusty, especially when the wind picked up. The remains of the Senate building were interesting, and we all could easily have spent more time there. We spent almost 2 hours as it was. From there, we went to the Colosseum. DH had already been in, and M wasn't interested, so only L, G and I went in. For some reason, admission was free this week, which made things quite nice. The Colosseum was in a way a bit smaller than I expected. I would have liked to have explored the area underneath, but it was still pretty neat walking around. There were some nice views of the city from there. All in all, it was neat but I wouldn't have wanted to pay €8 for going on. Then we walked back to the Trevi and got dinner at a place I think everyone but M liked. DD liked the green apple (mela verde) juice she had.
And then there were six - L and H went home on Sunday.
The family went to a Latin Mass at St. Peter's on Sunday morning. Two of the readings and the homily were in Italian, the second reading in French, and the hymns in English, but the Mass itself was in Latin, which was actually pretty cool. After Mass we went outside for the Papal Blessing. I didn't see the Holy Father, but DH saw where he was (inside one of the buildings, in an upper-story window), and saw his hand a few times. We'd gotten a few rose-scented rosaries, and those are blessed now.
After a quick stop for food, we met up with G and M at Castell S. Angelo. We didn't go in, but went from there back to St. Peter's and looked around for a while. St. Peter's is by far the largest and most ornate of the churches I've seen. There was a great deal of mosaic (especially on the floor and ceiling), gilt frescoes, baroque carvings in both stone and wood, and a lot of statuary. The side chapels were closed off so I didn't get much of a look at them, but the main sanctuary itself was overwhelmingly impressive.
Near the statue of St. Andrew was a staircase to the crypt underneath where many of the popes are laid to rest. Pride of place among these, visible but inaccessible to visitors, were the bones of St. Peter in a carved wooden box, lying under the high altar area. We passed several sarcophagi, including the most recent pope interred there. We also saw embedded in the walls markers for other popes, and remnants of the first basilica built by Constantine.
The path through the crypts led outside the Basilica, so after a bit of a rest, we went back to the hotel. It was a bit of a walk - I think I've done more walking the past week than I have the previous two months combined. We were all a bit tired and footsore - taking turns carrying a 45# kindergartner when she got tired didn't help any of our backs! We settled in, then the four remaining adults played cards for a while. The game of spades went a lot quicker than Friday night's game - the hearts game we played afterward lasted almost as long. A quick run to a fast food sandwich place (Mr. Panino, which was actually pretty decent), then we sat around chatting for a while.
And then there were four - M and G flew out way early Monday morning.
I finally got around to posting a picture of the Assisi needlework that I picked up in Assisi. I'll add the link to part6 as well..