Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Alright, leaving the Vatican and walking past the Castle, towards the Borghese Gallery, this is what we will see. We will start by walking by the Palazzo di Giustizia, page 229. We will cross over the Tiber River on the Ponte Cavour. We will pass the Piazza Augusto, page 141, where the Augustus ashes were placed. Some of the pictures don’t make it look very well kept. It is just a big stone circular building with weeds and moss growing around it. We will travel up Via Condotti and make our way to the Spanish Steps, page 134. Then a nice walk through the Villa Borghese, pages 258-9, and finally to Museo Borghese, pages 260-1.

Link to Wikipedia’s list of bridges in Rome


Web-site on the Spanish Steps.


This is web-site I just ran across. It seems to have a lot of pictures and interactive 360 degree views and some audio guides to the Pantheon, Circus, and Coliseum. The audio on the Pantheon was pretty interesting.


Here is the web-site for the Borghese Museum.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Closest I can tell this is where we are staying in Rome. There are some pictures and a map showing its location from the Vatican, but the web-site is in Italian and getting it translated probably depends on your own computer.


The first day in Rome starts with Mass at the actual tomb of St. Peter. That may not be exactly accurate. The grotto for St. Peter is the Clementine Chapel. It looks like it is directly under the Papal Alter in the Basilica. This looks familiar from the pictures of Romers last year, so I am guessing this is the grotto we are having mass in. Look through pages 230-233 of our guide book for the Vatican layout. Started in April 18, 1506 and completed in 1626. I got a video from the Library and it goes through the history. It was started and almost not completed. The Basilica web-site has a nice layout that you can click and see exactly what things are inside and also has a map from outside. There is a lot of information on this page. I would encourage you to spend some time on this web-site. The dome is one of the amazing architectural structures in the world. I also found a link with some information on the dome.






After I typed that last paragraph I actually started looking at the basilica web-site. There is even more there then I thought. The Saints surrounding the Square are all shown. Where and who they are. All the alters are listed. There is just a plethora of info. Climbing up into the dome for an aerial view of Rome will be a challenge for me. I am afraid of heights. I have heard it is not too bad, but people that aren’t afraid of heights always say that. So, if you are also afraid of heights, know we will be struggling though this together. Matthew said we may not be going to the Castle San Angelo, pages 248-249 in your Rome Book, but I will give you a link anyway. After that is the Borghese Gallery. I don’t know if we will walk there, but I hope we do and I will lay out a little path and what’s along it next time.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Michelle found something neat relating to what we just talked about on Sunday.
Interior of the Portiuncula

The interior retains its aspect of rude simplicity. Some of the rough hewn stones were put in place by St. Francis who repaired the church. The stones seem to reflect the echo of prayer that, for centuries has radiated from this "little portion" of earth. The warm atmosphere of devotion has been fostered by millions of faithful who have entered this "gate of eternal life" to implore the peace and pardon of the Indulgence. Conditions for gaining the Pardon are those decreed for all plenary indulgences: 1) visit to this shrine with recitation of one Our Father and one Creed; 2) Sacramental Confession and Communion as near the date as possible; 3) prayer according to intentions of the Pope (such as Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be).

On Day 4 we will go to the Portiuncula and then to St. Francis’s Hermitage. I couldn’t find a whole lot on the hermitage, and the sites I did find were in Italian, but here are some that seem to give an idea. Mount Sabasio is were Assisi is at. It is 1290 Meters, that is somewhere around 4232 feet.



Then we are off to Rome.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Let’s continue with Day 3. Just some FYI I didn’t mention before. It looks like the Basilica is about 2 to 3 miles Northeast of where we are staying. Looking at the maps of Assisi on google is really difficult because European towns and their streets are more compact and the streets are smaller. But click on the satellite view and you will be surprised what you can see. St. Francis Basilica is clearly scene out on the edge of Assisi. We looked in depth at the lower basilica of St. Francis. The upper Basilica is are next stop. This same website on Giotto gives you a good run through of the frescos that run along the walls. Just so everybody understands what these are, a fresco is the art or technique of painting on a moist, plaster surface with colors ground up in water or a limewater mixture. Here is a web-site that gives some instructions on making a fresco. Their instruction is based on a 9x12 inch fresco. Imagine working on the walls of a church.


Here is another layout and it links to the different frescos.


There are 25-28 (depending on the web-site you look at) frescos depicting the life of St. Francis along the walls.


Here is a BBC story on the earthquakes that happened in Assisi in 1997. It seems there was a lot of damage done to the frescos in the upper Basilica and 4-5 people were killed from falling rubble.


The tomb of St. Francis was found in 1818 and a crypt was built. This is where Mass will be held.


Best I can tell the Basilica of St. Clare, also seen as Santa Chiara, is on the Southwest tip of Assisi. One thing I found very interesting is that St. Clare was the first couch potato. Though she wasn’t on a couch or watching TV or lazy. When she was ill, she was able to watch the Mass on the wall of her bedroom. Therefore, she has been made the patron Saint of Television.


The Basilica also contains the crucifix which spoke to St. Francis and told him to rebuild His Church.

Finally found a map that lays out most of what we will see.


Here is a link to San Damiano which is where St. Francis heard the crucifix speak.


I can’t find a whole lot on the Bishop’s Palace or the Schifi’s House.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I know Matthew said we were going day by day, but some of these days are pretty jam packed, so I think we will just go until I think that is too much info. With that, off we go again.

Day 3 begins with us going to the Basilica of St. Francis and Celebrating Mass at his tomb.


Wikipedia has a good over view. I will try to go a little more in depth. Here is the link to St. Francis of Assisi.


The basilica was started by Pope Gregory IX in 1228. Here is some history of him.


Here is a web-site that has the layouts of both Basilicas, but they didn’t seem the most helpful.


2 of the main Artist mentioned were Cimabue and Giotto. Here are some sites on Cimabue. He was the teacher of Giotto, who seems to have done more of the paintings in the Basilica.


Here are a couple of websites about Giotto that show a lot of galleries so you can look through his art. Using the wga website and the floor plans gives you a little bit of a feel of where things are.


I am going to try and go through Wikipedia’s walkthrough. One word I came across, and this will not be the first, I wasn’t sure what it meant. Transept is any major transverse part of the body of a church, usually crossing the nave, at right angles, at the entrance to the choir. A chapel is; 1. A private or subordinate place of prayer or worship; oratory. 2. A separately dedicated part of a church, or a small independent churchlike edifice, devoted to special services. It appears that there are chapels and transepts that run along both sides of most of these basilicas and a transept is larger and a chapel is a smaller area for worship. The only reason I went through all that is because on the floor plans, chapels and transepts look similar. Looks like each chapel has a Saint that it is dedicated to it. So I am going to give the Saint link, by number, matched to the layout of the lower basilica. If this works, that will be it for this section of the guide. It looks like you enter from the bottom left, so I will go counter clockwise through the chapels. This may not be correct, but it is the closest I can figure.

1. St. Sebastian http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintOfDay/default.asp?id=1266
2. St. Catherine of Alexandria http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintOfDay/default.asp?id=1616
3. St. Louis of Toulouse http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintOfDay/default.asp?id=1105
St. Stephen http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintOfDay/default.asp?id=1241
4. St. Anthony of Padua http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintOfDay/default.asp?id=1413
5. St. Mary Magdalene http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintOfDay/default.asp?id=1084
6. St. Nicolas of Bari http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=371
7. St. John the Baptist http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=152
8. St. Peter of Alcantara http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=777
9. St. Martin of Tours http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=81

If you make it through all those, you will notice that I found another Saint web-site. It seems to have a lot more info and more Saints. So I will be using that one. I am beginning to get a good source of web-sites for saints and artist. Anyway, next guide we will look at the Crypt and Upper Basilica.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 2

So after we get to the hotel, we are going to try and get to the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The Assisi website has a link to it

http://www.assisionline.com/assisi__161.html p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_Santa_Maria_degli_Angeli

The website says it is the 7th largest Church in the world. It also contains the Porziuncola, which we have heard a lot about over the summer with all the talk on the restoration project. I don’t know if restoration is the right word. Building project perhaps. Here is a website just for the Porziuncola and Basilica. http://www.porziuncola.org/english/english.htm

I figure this is a good time to start diving into the lives of the saints we will encounter. Just from the start, there are a lot of saints that we will cross paths with. When a saint comes up in the things we look at I will give a link to the Saint of the Day website that Matthew has linked at epiphanylifeteen.com. These give the story of the saints life and a short little recording of the basics about the saint. If I find better materials, I will link them, but this should work for now. So, we won’t do St. Francis first, but St. Clare.


As you can see, the Porziuncola is where she received her habit. This will be our first place to visit and this will probably be repeated a lot, but really try to wrap your head around the fact that we are standing in the exact spot that these things happened hundreds of years ago. It looks like from the hotel the Basilica is about 5-6 blocks away. Head straight down the Viale Patrono D’Italia and it will be right there on your left. It is marked on the map that I linked to for the hotel. That is a lot of information so I will stop there. We will be going back to the Basilica on Day 4, so if I find any other links, we will go through them that day.

Just FYI. Wikipedia probably isn’t the most reliable source I could use, but one thing I do like about it is the links that they have. Not only can it connect you to other articles, but the art, and there is an overwhelming amount of art in the places we are going to see, all the pictures are linked. You can read about the artist, see descriptions, when things were made, and just get a feel for the age and talent of these artists.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 1. Flying from Chicago. The international flights leave from Terminal 5. Here is the link for parking.


International Terminal Parking - (First hour $2,
$30/day) Lot D is intended for short term parking for
Terminal 5, i.e. “meeters & greeters” only. It is not
intended for parking more than a few hours.

Here is a map of Terminal 5


Flight details Flight: BA0298 Non smoking, Operated by: British Airways, Departing from: O'Hare (Chicago)Wed 26 December 2007, 19:55, Arriving at: Heathrow (London)Thu 27 December 2007, 09:30, Number of stops: 0, Flying duration: 7hrs 35mins, Aircraft type: Boeing 777 jet

Flight: BA0560 Non smoking, Operated by: British Airways, Departing from: Heathrow (London)Thu 27 December 2007, 12:35, Arriving at: Fiumicino (Rome)Thu 27 December 2007, 16:00, Number of stops: 0, Flying duration: 2hrs 25mins, Aircraft type: Airbus A320 jet

Flight: BA0549 Non smoking, Operated by: British Airways, Departing from: Fiumicino (Rome)Fri 4 January 2008, 12:15, Arriving at: Heathrow (London)Fri 4 January 2008, 14:00, Number of stops: 0, Flying duration: 2hrs 45mins, Aircraft type: Boeing 757 jet

Flight: BA0299 Non smoking, Operated by: British Airways, Departing from: Heathrow (London)Fri 4 January 2008, 15:30, Arriving at: O'Hare (Chicago)Fri 4 January 2008, 18:10
Number of stops: 0, Flying duration: 8hrs 40mins, Aircraft type: Boeing 777 jet

Here is a link to the Leonardo da Vinci Airport.


We will be departing at Terminal C. It says it is about a 30 minute train ride to Rome. Here is a link to google satalite maps of Rome. It is neat to see the Vatican from above.


The train station in Rome is huge. The hostel I stayed at is about 2 blocks left of the picture. I also looked at it the satalite picture. It is right around 2 miles East of the Vatican.

I can't seem to find a place that says how long the train is from Rome to Assisi. Best I can guess is 1 hour and 30-45 minutes. It looks like we get off at Terentola to get on the train towards Assisi. So, assuming we land at 4:00 in Rome, 1 hour out of the airport, 30 min. to Rome, 1 1/2 to Assisi and 30 min to 1 hour wiggle room, we should be in Assisi by between 7:30 and 8:30 that night. Which will be 12:30 to 1:30 in the afternoon IL time.

Here is the Assisi online sight. I found decent enough maps on it to get an idea of where we will be.

http://assisionline.com/ plus the hotel we will be at. http://www.assisionline.com/hotelmoderno/

It is right next to the train station, so once we are on the train to Assisi we can know that most the traveling for the day is over. Sunset is around 4:45 while we are in Rome and Sunrise will be around 7:40. Here is a link that gives you temp. conversions. When I was over there it was really confusing. I gave up trying to figure it out and just went with what it felt like. Look at this and get used to what the temp. would be. Today's high is suppose to be 60 F, that is 16 C.


I think that is enough for the first day. I have to go shopping for the Thanksgiving feast we are having. Take care and God Bless.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alright all you fellow Romers. I will start now by saying welcome. I am really excited and have a feeling this is going to be a very extrodinary experience. Just a couple things before we jump in.

First - I am not an expert on Rome. So I will do my best but I am bound to make mistakes. I am learning about this stuff for the first time to.

Second - I have been to Rome before. It was 4 years ago and I think it makes me even more excited.

Third - There are comment buttons, but if you comment I am probably just going to copy and paste it to an actual post because it seems easier for everybody. And you may need to have an account, so if you just want to comment through facebook or e-mail I can post your comment from that.

Forth - I will start tomorrow with Day 1 stuff. Maybe some links to the airport I found with maps and everything so you will know what to expect when we get up there.

Fifth - I am lawyer, not a professional speller or grammer teacher, so don't expect perfection.