We spent Monday morning and early afternoon exploring more of Venice. I worked my way following wising alleys and taking bridges over small side canals back to the Frari church which has two of Titian’s paintings as well as his tomb (it was his home church). In the afternoon/evening we took the Vaporetto over to Lido - an 11 kilometer sandbar with great beaches - where we enjoyed the sun, sand, and water before getting supper on our way back to our apartment.
Saturday we traveled by train and then Vaporetto (Venetian bus/boat) to our apartment in Venice! It was one of Itália high speed trains that carried us quickly over the countryside but it was still a full day of packing, traveling, and settling in.
Sunday we explored - getting lost on purpose in the alleyways of Venice. What a magical place! I found a unique little church in which to pray for a while - every bit of the ceiling and walls was covered with amazing paintings of people and events from scripture.
in the afternoon we went to the Peggy Guggenheim modern art museum. While the kids participated in a hands on art experience we adults had time to explore the riches of the museum.
My sister was up and away shortly after dawn today - and won’t get home until after midnight my time! It has been an amazing adventure encountering and exploring Italy for the first time with her these last three weeks!
Now I begin to see some of the same sights from a new angle as I engage them with my grandsons! These three days we’ll be in Rome and then on Saurday will be a new adventure as we take a train to Venice!
On Thursday we went to La Doma Romane which is digitally enhanced Roman ruins with Augmented Reality.! It is next to Trajan’s Column and in some excavated ruins helps you envision what that home looked like duringTrajan’s time around 100 AD. Very cool!
On Friday I learned how to do laundry in a combo washer/dryer perched on a 6th floor balcony! Some of the clothes weren’t completely dry and had to be hung from these clothes lines 6 floor up!
On Sunday we had to leave our little apartment by St Peter’s and move to a much bigger apartment over by the Coloseum (an hour away if we had walked it) because my daughter and her family are coming! After we settled in we explored nearby stores (to get groceries) and found some neat wall art along the way!
In the evening we returned to San Anselmo for Vespers exploring a local outdoor art show along the way.
On Monday, while we waited for them to arrive, we explored two local churches - San Giovanni and San Clement.
They arrived on Monday afternoon - exhausted by their long trip which had begun midday the day before. We all went out in late afternoon - in the rain which blessedly broke the heat - to explore a park just above the Coloseum and then have dinner at a local pizza place.
Last night, on the way home from the light show, I stepped into the square in front of St Peter’s just to see it lit up - and then I went over at 7:30 this morning to worship inside(and I stumbled on an American service!). Here are pics of last night and this AM.
About my street! I thought it was worth sharing a bit more so I took some pics this morning for show and tell. The apartment is up a steep (STEEP) hill which leads down to just across from an entrance to St Peter’s Square. If you look at the pic of the street (just by our apartment) you can see the top of a white building with statues on it - if you compare that to the upper pic of St Peter’s facade , you can tell that what I see from in front of my apartment is the top front of St Peter’s. As I walked on the street, I passed this cardinal on his way to work! We really are right by the Vatican!! I’ve also included a clearer view of the old Roman city wall just across the street from us.
After the heat of day had passed I set off up our street to the parks that commemorate Garabaldi and the defense of Rome against Napoleon in 1870. To get there I followed that Roman Wall south. It was built in 271 AD and is 11 feet thick! It had never been breached until Napoleon’s artillary broke through in 1870.
I took it easy on Friday with a shorter walk than usual - over past St Peters and then down to the Tiber River (which is always a muddy brown between tall walled banks which prevent flooding of the city). To get back to the apartment I took our usual route through a tunnel under some major roads.
So, if you’re interested, I spent a couple of hours today - and tomorrow- adding info and pics to the blogs of the last two weeks! I continue to ave trouble sporadically in updateng the blog on my cell phone! It freezes up from time to time and I have to figure out how to unfreeze it! Hence the time lag on some (most) of the blogs!
Wednesday I headed back to Aventine Hill while my sister headed off to a museum (and more statues!). I’ve come to enjoy this hill which is just one hill south of Palatine Hill (where most of the Roman empowers and nobles lived). All hills are great in Rome because they catch the breeze which is often missing in the valleys (and can you imagine how important that was when the valleys were mosquito filled marshes!!?).
I learned that tradition has it that Prisca & Aquilla lived on this hill whenPaul knew them so long ago! Today I explored gardens with views over the river to St Peter’s, two old churches, and then noon worship with Benedictine chant at St Anselmo. Here are some pics including a wooden panel from one of the churches that has the oldest surviving depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion.
In the evening we headed out to see a light show at Trajan’s Forum that gave life to the ruins in front of us - right in the heart of Rome!
We set out early again on Tuesday to try to be among the first to explore the old Roman ruins on Palatine Hill and the adjacent Forum. As you’ll see from the pics, we had the place to ourselves for the first 10 minutes! We investigated for hours until the heat and our hurting feet sent us looking for a retreat. We found a nice restaurant on the sidewalk and met up with two friends of my sister’s who were also in Rome.
Monday morning we set off early in the cool of the morn to explore the area just south of where we are by St Peter’s. It’s an area called Trastevere and is directly west (across the Tiber) of the Aventine Hill I explored last night. We walked down finding breakfast on our way. We discovered a wonderful church (see the pics) but what got me was that on Christmas they take all the pews out of the church and serve Christmas dinner to the homeless which we all have (there are LOTS of beggars but we were warned that most of them are scam artists). We did some sidewalk shopping (which this community has a lot of) and then headed home before the worst of the heat (and the torrential downpour).
After supper, I walked just down the hill to St Peter’s Basilica (the Pope’s Church) to see if the crowds had left and if I might find a quiet spot to meditate, pray, and just absorb it all. Luckily the crowds had left and after I got through security I was able to find space to just ‘be’. I found myself praying for folks back home whom I knew had special need of God’s presence in their lives just now.