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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 2)

Back down the street to the Basilica of San Clemente. Smallish as basilicas go – cosmatesque pillars similar to those found in the Lateran Cloister – more stones still in situ.

We toured the excavations area on the 1st & 2nd levels below the present church – which includes the tombs of St’s Cyril (& Methodius??), and some ancient frescos. Bought postcards of the sights which were impossible (and forbidden) to photograph. The 2nd level, with the Mithraic and Christian sections was especially interesting, including the carved marble piece with the Mithraic bull and other symbols.






Opted not to stay for the 6 PM Mass – headed back to Lateran for the Scala Sancta.

Like anyone coming to these steps for the 1st time, I was most interested in seeing the blood stain that is purported to have come from Christ. The only way to see this (without stepping over a bunch of people) is to climb the stairs on one’s knees. That confirmed my resolve to do so. The steps were very crowded and the climbing process was very slow. Lots of folks were praying (I said a Hail Mary on each step); one priest and nun were doing a decade of the Rosary on each step, until the line got too backed up behind them and they finished the climb. Certainly the prayers and the sensations from your knees took you away from concentrating on your surroundings – this explains all the signs warning of pickpockets (who would have to be climbing the steps, as well -- that’s a lot of work!)


There was no 6 PM Daily Mass in the Papal Chapel at the head of the steps – it’s closed on Wednesdays.


We stepped outside, and I eagerly (OK, non-grumblingly) paid € 3,50 for a bottle of Coke Light from a roach coach.

We stopped in a bookshop across the street and picked up a couple of items.

I have been touching my Rosary to something at each site we’ve been to thus far – I’m not really superstitious – more like creating 4th & 5th degree relics.

We headed back to the apartment, stopping briefly at an Internet Café. I don’t type well or fast, and didn’t feel like paying by the minute for long posts. Will blog when we get home from the notes I’m taking. I did post briefly on the memory card disaster and changed my location on Facebook.

Continuing our walk back to the apartment, we stopped in at a gelateria. Izzy had a cone; I discovered soy gelato made without sugar – had a guilt free tiny cup. We ran into our landlady, Maria, as we sat outside.


Back to the apartment. The key to the courtyard door used by 6 floors of residents broke off as Izzy turned it. If the door (which has a magnetic component to it) were to close, it could not be opened from the inside. Izzy found the hole in the marble and a nail behind the door – this has happened before, hmmm, and propped the door open. Using the Lonely Planet phrase book, he created a sign warning folks to not shut the door, and posted it with some of the duct tape we’d used to identify the suitcases. He also blocked the lock and the door jamb to keep it from closing fully. We met the couple in the room next to ours – visiting from Slovakia, and made sure they knew not to try and close the door. They informed us that they’d seen a sign and knew not to (our reassurance that we were at least comprehensible, and perhaps even grammatically correct.)


Now to try and find Maria.

On the way out to eat, stopped at a closer Internet Café to make a call – no answer at home or on the cell. Cannot send an email: “The Internet is down – come back tomorrow.”

Dinner at Tempo de Mecenate (41 Vacca Marco.) Izzy had Pizza Capricola (verrrry thin crust!); I had roasted veggies and bruschetta. We’re taking all our meals inside – all the restaurants have Vietato Fumare signs inside, and tons of smokers outside.

Tried the calls again – eventually reached Maria who came out with her son to extract the key stub and provide us with another key; this must happen often – the son handed Izzy a key from a rather large ring of identical keys.

To bed finally – we’ll need to be up early tomorrow for the Scavi tour.

Flickr sets for July 4:

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