Sunday, March 21, 2010
Jim and I got up early and walked to a church about fifteen minutes away for the 8 am Mass. This is a very unusual church located on the Piazza della Repubblica in the old Roman baths called the Baths of Diocletian. The name of the church is Santa Maria de Angeli; there are three separate altars used for saying Mass inside this mammoth structure. We attended Mass at the same altar as my sister and I did on Easter Sunday last spring. The priest asked at the beginning where people were from and found that there were about ten Americans and so at the end of the sermon he gave a summary in English and also a final blessing in English. I’m sure the collection plate jingled a bit more due to his extra effort for the tourists! Jim spent a few minutes with the priest after Mass and found instruction on where to find the church, Santa Maria Victoria, located a couple of blocks away; that houses Bernini’s statue, the swooning “St. Teresa in Ecstasy” that he wants to see before we head home.
Back to the hotel for breakfast with Barbara and at 11 am we went to the Galleria Borghese by taxi for our scheduled tour of the museum. We arranged for a wheelchair for Barbara and it made for an enjoyable experience for all of us since it takes at least an hour and a half to tour. With the audio tapes we all had a truly awesome experience. This is one of the best museums in Rome. It is so popular that you have to have a reservation; a two hour window and at the end of that window they clear everyone out to let the next group in for their two hours. Also, you must check your purse, backpacks, camera, etc. They are very strict in their rules but it is well worth it. I had purchased our tickets online in January.
When we finished the tour of the Galleria Borghese Jim headed off on foot to do some exploring in the old section. There is a Marathon being held in Rome today and the old section is closed to vehicles so the only way to get around is on foot. Barbara and I decided to take it easy and after some shopping in the gift shop and a light lunch we got a taxi and headed back to the Piazza Repubblica so that I could show Barbara the church that Jim and I attended this morning. Our taxi turned out not to be a regular taxi but a car that hires out. He spoke very good English…we paid a few extra Euros but we were not at an actual taxi stand. I got his name and phone number; for thirty Euros per hour you can hire him and his car for private tours…minimum of three hours. Sounds great to me but don’t think it’s gonna happen. I really enjoyed taking about Rome with him on our brief trip.
Arrived at our destination and as we entered we heard the huge pipe organ. Walked over and enjoyed over an hour of organ music by two different musicians. Truly a serendipity moment for both of us; then we walked across the piazza to McDonalds for a snack before finding another taxi for the very short final trip to the hotel.
Jim was back from his journey when we arrived at the hotel…he’d been walking the whole time; somewhat frustrated because of the hoards of people with the marathon. But he took us out to dinner at Florian’s Café for dinner; this is very close to the hotel and recommended by the manager. And he also went for a walk with me around the area after we tucked Barbara in for the night. Our last adventure for the day was hooking up to the web by cable in our rooms. The Manager is off this evening and he is the only one that can give us wireless. It took me over an hour to finally figure it out but Mr. Jim is now happily on the Internet. Hopefully I will be able to switch to this computer after a bit so that I can send this blog tonight.
Rain is scheduled for tomorrow….our big thing is to visit St. Peter’s at the Vatican and our schedule Scavi Tour at 3:30 pm. I’m thinking positive and have decided that it is not going to rain on my parade tomorrow!