Tuesday, April 7, 2009
ROME PREPARES FOR EASTER
Tuesday, April 07, 2009 Rome prepares for Easter
Up early this morning to explore Rome again. Unless one looks you’d hardly know that there was a major earthquake yesterday some fifty plus miles away from Rome. The city is brimming with tourists, both religious and those out to enjoy their Easter Vacation in a city that never sleeps.
The sites are all full of people, especially the religious ones, and at times it’s like swimming upstream to get through one of the ancient narrow streets in the center of the antiquities. We’re so glad that we spent a weekend here before heading south to the Sorrento area last week.
We first went to the Galleria Borghese Museum to pick up our tickets for Thursday and then began our schedule of sites for today. Our first stop was at San Giovanni in Laterano; the original Vatican prior to St. Peter’s and still the home church of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. We will be attending the Mass here on Thursday evening with the Pope officiating. Then we walked over to the Scale Santa Church where Mary climbed the steps on her knees. I did this a number of years ago and elected not to repeat, it is at least twenty plus minutes on your knees on wood steps covering the twenty eight marble steps of the house of Pontius Pilate’s residence that Jesus climbed on the day he was sentenced to death. Constantine’s mother, St. Helena, purchased these and moved them to Rome. There are small round holes that allow you to view the stains from Jesus’ blood as you climb the stairs on your knees.
From there we walked over for daylight views of the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. We’d seen all of them last weekend at night. Now we had daylight and triple the number of other people visiting the sites with us. During the course of our journey today we visited seven different churches; each holding their own special features that make them unique.
It was a fun day and we enjoyed walking the streets of Rome. We left the hostel at eight am and returned shortly after four pm. Lots of walking, several bus rides and one short taxi ride when our feet gave out! A full day!