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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rome Trip - July 11: Our Last Full Day (St. Lawrence to the Forum to Peter in Chains)

It's Skylab Day, 28th anniversary of the 1st time we celebrated not having the world end.

Up to Sta. Maria Maggiore to catch the bus out to San Lorenzo fuori le mura (St. Lawrence outside the walls). It’s our last Pilgrim Basilica.

Bus trip to St. Lawrence

We got off the bus and immediately found Campo Verano, an old but relatively recent city cemetery. There are acres of above ground crypts and mausoleums.

View through the gate of Campo Verano

The guard told us “no photo”and said there was somewhere to go buy a permission pass to take pictures. We never found it. We asked her were St. Lawrence was, and she sent us down a rabbit warren of alleys past headstone masons to what turned out to be the main road leading through the San Lorenzo community. We asked someone else and were sent back through the same narrow alleys (including a service area for car dealerships) and past the cemetery entrance to the basilica next door.

Fresco on Portico of Martyrdom of St. Lawrence

The small, relatively unembellished front part is a later addition to the 12th century church raised over a Constantinian era chapel. The old chapel area is still used and has the stone slab upon which St. Lawrence’s body was placed immediately after his death when it was brought to this spot for burial. His relics are not entombed with those St. Stephen (Protomartyr) and Justin Martyr. Frescos on the front of the church tell the stories of these two martyrs and how their bodies came to be here. Peregrini are allowed to touch objects (rosaries, crucifixes) to the stone covering the bones, making those objects third class relics. We did.

Cosmatesque Ambo of the gospel
Layers of Columns
Sections of "old church" being restored
Grate over graves of SS. Stephen, Lawrence & Justin Martyr

Izzy got a detailed tour, mostly in Italian, of the archaeological history of the basilica and an explanation about an archaeological find — a team lead by Professor "Larry White" (Izzy’s enthusiastic “guide”) was there photographing a re-purposed slab of marble with what appears to be the earliest epigraphical evidence of the doctrine of transubstantiation. "Mr. White" gave Izzy contact information and told him to e-mail when we got home; he’s promised to send an off-print of the article.

This slab may contain the earliest known epigraphical evidence of the doctrine of transubstantiation

Back to Sta. Maria Maggiore by bus. We stopped at SMA for bufala (mozzarella cheese; employees are the only ones permitted to select the balls of cheese and bag them) and tomatoes for lunch. We added it to the rest of the basil for an insalata Caprese and ate some of the remaining cheese and fruit, more or less cleaning up the fridge.


We had a brief rest, during which Maria came by to ready the other room for new guests and finally accepted our payment (she had refused twice previously during our stay), then headed out to the Roman Forum (very easy access from the Colosseo stop). The guide books all warn of stifling heat in the afternoon. We had some threatening clouds and some spitting rain drops which kept the place cool and made for a very pleasant walk. We went over and up as far as the Capitoline Museum (which we’ll have to actually go in to on our next trip!) before circling back. It wasn’t terribly crowded. I had a great guide to the monuments, including epigraphy, history and relevance.

Just a few of our many, many Forum pix. It's overcast, so the skies aren't post-card blue, but we also didn't swelter.


Back on the subway, one stop up (Cavour), and a steep set of steps to our last church— San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains).


The chains that were miraculously removed in the Acts of the Apostles are on display just below the altar.


Michaelangelo’s Moses, planned as part of a monument for Julius II, is here as well. The pictures are better when someone discovers the computer light box and pays for better lighting.


This is also our last chance to see women not quite figuring out how to wrap modestly for a church; one woman had her wrap draped around her elbows, leaving her shoulders quite bare. A bit unclear on the concept. 8-)


Back to the neighborhood.

Getting fortune told

Trattoria Morgana is closed on Wednesdays. I went to look for a restaurant while Izzy went to look for a phone box that would be open at 6 AM. We tried to reserve a taxi from the Internet place, but no one will take a reservation if you don’t have a phone number where you can be reached at the appointed hour, so we’ll have to summon one bright and early. Phone box located, followed by dinner at Ristorante Nino on Via Merulana. Izzy’s pizza had capriacola ham, cheese, boiled egg, olives and artichoke hearts. I had the veggie self-serve—two kinds of eggplant and bruschetta al pomodori. Unlike the diced tomatoes with basil, oil, and garlic that I expected, this had three thick tomato slices with salt and pepper. I looked it up. Turns out “bruschetta” refers to the toast (usually of left-over bread), not the topping. One more cultural discovery on our last night in Rome.

Fabio & Giancarlo. A bit blurry, but the noisy camera didn't allow me a 2nd shot.

Back to the apartment to pack. We finished off the wine (Orvieto Amabile for me) and liquor (Abbazia S. Paolo for Izzy) that we couldn’t take on the plane. The child across the courtyard (whom we’ve been calling “Fabio”) was playing loudly with his friend Giancarlo when we had lunch and naps earlier. They were still at it after dinner. Fabio’s dad finally “silencio”-ed them close to 11 PM, when we were about done with packing and rechecking so we wouldn’t go over our EasyJet weight restrictions.

Flickr sets for today:


Anonymous said...

hi we have a bottle of abbazia s. paolo liquor but are unsure how to drink it... do you mix it or just drink it straight? if mixed, what do you recommend?

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Izzy suggests that you send the bottle to him and he'll make you a video showing how he drank it.
Happy New Year!