Travel: Italy (Day Twelve)

Today we were out the door around 9 a.m. and took a taxi over to the Colosseum for our tour there, but before we could begin, we had a cappuccino at the Oppio Caffe, which is where I also had my first experience of Nutella (it was the filling of my croissant) and can I just say, “I’m a big fan!” The two definitely gave me the boost to take on the Colosseum with sugar and caffeine.

You learn something everyday and today I learned that the name of the Colosseum came from a 98 foot statue of the Emperor Nero (pic from the internet) that was considered a “colossus” because of its size. I’m thinking the man had the ego to go along with it!

This truly was a tour through ancient / pre-Christian Rome and considering that some of what we saw was built around 500 b.c. it was impressive. I’ll comment on these as we go…

The Arch of Constantine celebrating his victories. Many of the pieces were taken from other memorials and cobbled together to create this one.
A panoramic shot of the Roman Forum. Can you say, “Lots of old buildings, memorials, etc.” It is fascinating and it is one that you’ll need to read up on because my brain could not absorb much more information at this point. I would say, 500 years of history in this one shot.

It was a very hot day here in Rome, so after seeing all this we made our way to a fabulous little restaurant where your’s truly enjoyed some nice meatballs, a salad, fresh bread, white wine, and lots and lots of water. We then took a short walk to the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains Church) where we saw the chains that bound Peter while he was in prison in Rome and the Moses by Michelangelo. You’ll notice that Moses has horns. We know that when Moses came down off the mountain he was radiating the light of God so that the people asked him to cover his face. They were afraid of what they saw. However, at the time, the Hebrew was incorrectly translated. Turns out, “radiated light” and “grew horns” are almost exactly the same in Hebrew. Guess which translation Michelangelo was working from.

The above were amazing to see, but what caught my eye across the aisle (we were ushered out pretty quickly as a wedding was about to start) was this fantastic image of Death. If you ain’t got Jesus, you better start making plans to meet this fella!

At this point we were all done, so we took the cab back home. After a few minutes of rest, I remembered that I had not gotten my Rosary in for the day, so walked about a half a block to the church on the street we are staying to the Piazza di San Salvatore in Lauro only to discover that in one of the side altars were some amazing relics of Saint Padre Pio and another with a few vestments and a white zucchetto belonging to Saint John Paul II. To be near JPII and to pray the Rosary with Padre Pio was a very moving experience. I have truly been near and prayed with the mortal remains of all my heroes of the Church with the exception of my friend Thomas a Kempis. (Guess I’ll eventually have to take a trip to the Netherlands for that… challenge accepted!)

There are two days remaining here in Rome. Tomorrow we’ve plans to attend church then off we’ll go again. I’m not sure where we’ll end up, but I’ll be sure and share the details.

Blessings to you all.


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