Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Friday, March 28, 2014

Italy, Day 9 - Rome

I wrote some of this post while on the regional train to Florence.  We walked from our hotel in Montecatini to the train station in less than five minutes, suitcases full and heavier.  We are taking 4 seats with suitcases and backpacks.  We met other Chamber  of Commerce people from Michigan, going we're we are... same train, same hotel.  I'm trying to stay awake and enjoy the views from train.  I notice terraces full of grapes and olive trees.  Everything is green, some trees blooming, white blossoms.   I notice laundry hanging out windows in the gorgeous sunshine today, first real nice day.   We change trains in Florence, get in fast one that takes 1.5 hr to Rome.  Claudia warned us about Rome, a big city, and lots of pick pockets.

Whew, with the help of new Wisconsin friends, Joe and Laura, we got off the regional train and on the speed train to Rome.  I slept some, but noticed more vineyards and gated type communities.  It seems like poor people live near the tracks.    We walked a short distance from the train station and found our Hotel Massimo d'Angelia on via Cavour.   We have a great room, high ceilings, but it's very noisy.  We opened the windows, 3 of them.. 2 glass and one like a wood door, painted white, to get some fresh air.  The room became amazingly quiet when we shut all the windows for the night.

View of a busy city street from our hotel window

We walked across the street for a pizza lunch, then back to hotel.  A sweet hotel clerk, Monica suggested the easiest way to see Rom is to walk.  So we walked to Colosseum, all around it.

The history fascinated both of us and we wondered if the people really watched Christians eaten by lions here.  We then walked to the Forum area and saw gorgeous sights without standing in line to pay for admission.

We walked up a hill to a sweet church built in honor of St. Bonaventure.  

We stopped at one of the four major basilicas in Rome, Basilica of St. Mary Maggiora.  

I actually attended Mass at this church on Sunday morning.  The Italian priest said the Mass in a side altar and I found myself quite distracted because of the language, so I noticed all the marble carvings, the beautiful floor, the incredible art work.  I've decided that a simple church lends itself to better prayer time for me.  And oh, the priest said the Mass with his back to the people....

We ended the night with our favorite dessert - more gelato.

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