We left Switzeland behind with both bags and people a bit heavier for the numerous kgs of cheese contained within and set off to explore the Eternal City – Rome.
We were generously hosted by Fr. John at the Marist International Theologate which provided a perfect base for setting forth exploring the streets and Churches of Rome. Fr. John was our guide and in line with true Roman priorities, brought us home to a delicious lunch each day.
I’ve dreamt of going to Rome for years, and friends are always surprised that I’ve never before made it there on my travels, but I hadn’t quite counted on the particular way we experienced Rome, through the eyes of our two and half year old Felicity. For example in the Church of John Lateran, explaining the 12 statues that flank the main body of the chuch…F:”Who is that one?” A:”Thats Peter, Jesus’s friend. He was a fisherman” F:”Why is he here?” A:”He’s here because he was a good friend of Jesus… look what he has in his hands”. F:”KEYS! Were they keys to Jesus’ house?” A:”…ah..yes. I guess so”
We’d usually spend the mornings our and about together, return for lunch and I’d often set out again for an afternoon trip leaving Nuala to rest. One such trip took Felicity and myself to St. Mary Major.
Taking the train to “Collosseo” was as surreal as taking a train to Giza to see the Pyramids. The sight of it coming up out of the subway was stunning!
Feliciy loved the Colosseum though some of the explanations of what transpired within had to be creatively adjusted to suit her definition of ‘pounce’ which to her means what her soft-toy animals to while playing with eachother…
F:”What are those places for?” A:”er.. those were for the animals to hide.” F: Did the animals pounce on eachother and the people?” A:”thats right”. F:”And then what happened?” A:”Then, when it was lunchtime, everyone had something to eat” F:”After lunch did they all have gelato?” A:”er…maybe… if their mama or dada said they could…”
Gelato after a hard afterno0n’s exploring the Roman Forum or another amazing church became standard issue for adventures with dada.
Apparently Sheepy’s favourite part was the Forum… perhaps he knew the grizzly truth about the Collosseum. We left the best for last spending the morning of our last day exploring St. Peter’s Basilica. Finally making it to the Vatican at a time of great expectation and hope, brought by Pope Francis felt so much like coming home despite never having been there before.
The last night in Rome happened to be the night Pope Francis called a vigil of prayer for peace in Syria, as the US considered a military strike. I couldn’t resist attending and probably stayed a few hours too long that was sinsible given our departure from Rome the following day.