4-6 Sept 2005 - When we were going to have a visit from Paul's parents on their way to Medjugorje, we joked that we should take them
to Rome as a start to their pilgrimage. And we were thrilled when we decided to actually do it. Rome is better known to us, less expensive, not to mention
it has better food, than any place we might take them. We planned (and managed) to visit the four major basilicas in Rome: St Peter's, St Mary Major,
St John Lateran, and St Paul's (Outside the Walls). We also fit in San Clemente, the Colosseum, and as many medieval churches as we could find and
were opened. Three long, busy, hot days in Rome, but the trip is always worth it.
We began our whirlwind tour of Rome at St Peter's Basilica (San Pietro) in Vatican City. Then we walked towards the ancient center of the city, passing Castel San'Angelo, formerly the emperor Hadrian's mausoleum.
We visited the Pantheon (Il Rotondo) and were amazed how much of a difference the cleaning had made to the inside of the dome (the whole thing was under scaffolding when we were there last summer.)
After the Pantheon we visited gelateria della palma (of course!) and walked back to our hotel near Castel San'Angelo. The next day we started with St Paul's Outside the Walls.
St Paul's Outside the Walls (San Paolo fuori le muri) is away from the main parts of the city, so it tends to be more peaceful.
We spent some time on the Aventine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome (Capitoline, Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, and Quirinal, in most versions...'Cats PACE Very Quietly').
Here we had great views over Rome. We also visited several medieval churches on the hill and failed to take a decent picture through the keyhole at the gateway of the Knights of Malta.
You'll just have to go see it for yourself! We visited the other two major basilicas in Rome, St Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) and St John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano),
as well as San Clemente (I just can't call it St Clement's!) with its excavations, Saint Praxides (Santa Prassede) with the fragment of the column of the scourging, the Colosseum, and the Forum.
It was a busy trip!