Friday, June 07, 2013

Too little time...

I wanted to see a landmark before the crowds swarmed in, so I got up early - 6:00am. My husband offered to come with me and since we were a 10 minute walk from St Peter's it made sense to go there. At 6:30 there was a small line-up at a side gate. The people in line were mainly religious going in for an early mass. Security opened the gates at 7:00am and we filed in.

I was in awe at the size of the basilica, the magnificent statues and the incredible craftsmanship in the ornate details every where. There were a dozen or so masses being said at the many side altars and a very special mass, attended by about 50 priests all in white vestments, at this altar.

A few days ago, I had overheard one of the guides saying that the artists were commissioned to create images that would translate the many intellectual concepts of the Christian faith into something the common people could understand. Here, they certainly succeeded in communicating the awe, majesty and power of a supernatural being.

Replica of the Pieta
After our visit we found a cafe for a coffee and a croissant. We wanted to sit for a while and just take in the early morning atmosphere. What is difficult to describe in a post is the sound of Rome. The traffic roars all the time. It must be a combination of the scooters, buses, trucks and cars, plus the sirens - police, ambulance and fire engines, which speed by constantly over cobblestones.

When we got back to our apartment, the kids were up, so we decided to walk along the river to the Spanish Steps, climb them - 134 and go to the gardens of the Villa Borghese at the top. The gardens were lovely and the view of the city, magnificence, but without the view, we could have been in any park, anywhere. Even though you could hear yourself think up here, we decided get back down into the busy-ness of the city, which was energizing.

Near the Piazza del Popolo, we stopped for lunch. The restaurants on the square were very expensive, but still filled with lots of customers. We walked down a side street and found a quiet spot at half the price. We both had a bowl of steamed clams in butter and white wine, while we chatted with a couple at the next table, who were very experienced travellers from BC. It was a very pleasant lunch!!

Clams in White Wine

Sorry, I missed posting this yesterday. I had been awake for 18 hours and I just crashed!!

Have a great day!!


  1. Make the most of every minute! Sounds like a wonderful time so far.

  2. well, it looks like you are having a great time! Make the most of it!

  3. I am so glad you were climbing all those steps for me. I would have loved to go into the Basilica. Thanks for taking us along.

  4. Sounds wonderful - thank you for sharing your fantastic day!