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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.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rome Trip - July 4: Garibaldi is 200! (Part 1)

Independence Day. Up at 9 AM, our bodies think it is 3 AM. Blood glucose readings off; it expect they will be for a couple of days.

We’d originally planned to try and get tix to the general audience when we arrived on Tuesday. By the time we got phone cards, the number at the Vatican Prefettura della Casa Pontificia wasn’t being answered. So, we opted to start the day at the Lateran basilica.

In honor of the 4th, I’m in red (shirt), while (sox) & blue (skirt). Izzy is in a red shirt w/khakis. We stopped on the way up the hill to Lateran at the local office products superstore to buy additional memory cards.

(Madonna of Czestochowa - reported to be a favorite of John Paul II)

After shooting with this camera for three full days, I thought I’d check the capacity. Chose the wrong function, and suddenly discovered I had re-formatted the entire memory card. All Durham, Philly & early Rome shots were gone. Fatigue and disappointment – I’ll admit to not taking it well. Realized that only the Philly & Durham shots were irreplaceable – so set out to start replacing Rome shots.

(Entrance of Lateran from Via Merulana)

We went to Mass at 11 AM in the side/Adoration Chapel. It was a daily Mass, with no homily. This was the case in all of the daily Masses (non-festiva) we attended. I noticed that it was the 2nd we’d attended with a female lector. I’d been reading a bit in the blogosphere in preparation for the Motu Proprio, and had seen lots on how there should be no female lectors. It seemed as if perhaps this wasn’t seen as a horrible thing here in the seat of all Catholicism. I noticed plenty that would irk a strict Traditionalist during our stay… but that’s another entry.

It was neat to see several religious present in their habits (both genders).

(St. Bartholomew, carrying the skin wherein he was flayed alive - view larger size to see the face)

Lots of pix inside, including the amazing monumental statues of the apostles. Paid admission to the Cloisters, a nice breezy, refreshing setting for a stroll.

(Cloisters, cosmatesque tile work on columns.)

I was especially interested in seeing the Papal chair with the hole that was rumored to be used to confirm the gender of a newly elected Pope. Based on the size hole, I don’t think any of the legend is accurate, but it is certainly interesting to have known about this stuff ahead of time. Izzy had done a fantastic job of assembling books for me to read before our trip, so I’d be better prepared.


(Papal Chair, hole viewed from underneath)


We took our lunch on the Piazza, after we’d located the statue of Constantine. Izzy each day packed sandwiches and we carried bottles of water – saved bunches of €€. We’d planned to climb the Scala Sancta next, but saw it was closed to about 3 PM.

Hiked over to the Colosseum (Colosseo.) Admission was free today in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Guiseppe Garibaldi. Huge crowds for security and long lines – free tix will do that. It certainly looked different from the way it appears in movies – lighting, angles, etc., even from modern era flicks.


On the way towards the Colosseum, we’d passed the ruins of the Ludus Magnus, the gladiator training school.


Once we got inside the Colosseum, we oohed and aahed over the view, the steps, etc.




There was also an exhibit on “Eros” on the 3rd (top) level. Izzy was a great tour guide of history, art, translating plaques and re-telling the myths, etc.


There was a concert of some other event being set up on the hill at the Temple of AMOR today. (It's the temple that back up to the Temple of ROMA.) Some access blocked. We’ll come back on another afternoon to see the Forum.

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