Thursday, December 20, 2007

Well, we have made it to our final day. We will see St. Paul’s Outside the Walls and the Roman Forum. I found web-sites for St. Paul’s because our guide book doesn’t have a whole lot. (Page 267) The Roman Forum however is fully covered in the guidebook. (Pages 77-95) Here are the links I found for St. Paul’s (article about unearthing St. Paul’s tomb) (Wikipedia site) (Description and History)

Then we have the option of shopping or seeing the Capuchin Cemetery.

And that will be the end. It will go by fast and we will see a lot of history and art and you may get bored at times and moved to tears at others, but it will be an experience. I am very much looking forward to sharing it with you. Just to answer a question I received. The maps I referred to are in you guide book starting at 408.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Well here we go the final push. We are in single digits now. The next thing we are looking at is the Vatican Museums. When I went on my tour the tour guide said something like, “if you spend one minute looking at each piece in the museum, it would take you 4 or 5 years to get through the whole museum.” Needless to say, there is a lot there. There is a lot of info on the museum in our guide books. (Pages 234-237) The tour ends with the Sistine Chapel. This is just something you must see to believe. This is where they choose the next pope and the guide book has an excellent layout of the different works in the chapel.

We will then take the Appia Antica to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, San Callisto. (both of Page 265) The guide book doesn’t have a lot on this, but I found a website that lays out the catacombs. This is where we will have mass, much like the early Christians who did so in secret because of persecution. We will be walking in the exact place where many of the early popes and martyrs walked. I wasn’t able to find to much on the Appian Way. This is the road where Spartacus and his army were crucified along the road stretching for miles, roughly 190 km, about 118 miles. It is suppose to start at the Porta San Sebastiano, but the catacombs and the actual tourist part of the road don’t start until a little further down the road.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Alright, it has been a little while since we did a Study Guide. That should mean I have a lot of info on the next section. It doesn’t. I have just been really busy both at home and work. A couple things before we dive in. Matthew told me that the schedule might not be exactly as we are seeing it on the Itinerary. He says we should see the things on the list, it just might not be in that order. Second, I have put some idea up about a Novena for the trip. Take a look at it and e-mail me suggestions. The deadline to get it started is the 18th or 19th so try and get your suggestions to me in the next week. We are coming down to the final days now. So, on to the traveling.

New Year’s Day will start with Mass at St. Peter’s. Mass is at 10:00. I was going to record it on EWTN, but from their schedule it doesn’t appear that the are broadcasting it. After Mass we are doing the “Historical Center Walk”, as Matthew puts it. The three main parts of the walk are Trinity Fountain (Page 159), Piazza Navona (Pages 117-127), and the Pantheon (Pages 110-111). As you can see, there are a lot of pages in your guide books devoted to these and a lot of info to go through. I will let the guide book do most of the explaining and see if I can’t find a few really good sites.

Trinity Fountain. Without even looking at anything, the two things I remember about this fountain is that if you throw in a coin in a certain way, they say you will return and two that the window to the upper right, when you are facing the fountain, is fake. It is just painted on the wall. It has something to do with someone jumping out. I just remember those two things from when I was there. Come along as we take a little walk using the map in the guide book.

We start at the Metro stop Republlica. That puts us right into the Piazza della Rebubblica. (Page 164 Map 5 (C-3). Stroll over to Via XX Settembre and hang a left. A little walk down and we come to Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale. (Page 161) The street ends with us entering the Piazza del Quirnale. (Page 158) Head down Via D. Dataria, hang a Left on Via San Vincenzo and we run straight into the Fontana di Trevi. The sites on the list so far are outside sights except for the Sant’ Andrea. I don’t know how long the Mass will be or when we will start the walking. I am just trying to see what is along our path. On to the next leg. And it would be easier to move on to Map 12. Fontana de Trevi is found at F-2

Head down the Via Muratte, which turns into Via de Pietra, which sort of changes into Via de Pastini. Believe me when I tell you, the streets don’t work the same as they do here. Streets will change names at random it seems when you are just going straight. It is very easy to get lost and confused because a street will only have that name for 2 or 3 blocks. Part of the reason is that the streets we are walking on are thousands of years old and that is really the only reason I have. This is why it will be very important to hang onto your book. The street finder will be able to give you a pretty good idea where you are if you should get turned around.

Anyway, along our walk we will walk by the remains of the Temple of Hadrian. (Page 106) Via de Pastini takes us right into the Piazza Della Rotonda, which is where the Pantheon is. This is an amazing building which has a good layout in your books. A little detour would take us to Santa Maria sopra Minerva. (Page 108) Also, la Maddalena (page 109) is just North of the Pantheon. They are two churches that look interesting. Sant’ Eustachio (Page 109) is on the way to the next stop. I think it depends on the time and how we are doing, this is the day we get up very early, as to what we are going to see. This might also be something where we all go to the Pantheon and then take groups to a certain church you might be interested in. There is really too much to do in such a short time frame.

Down the Via Giustiani, cutting across Corso del Rinascimento, we find ourselves at the Piazza Navona. Map 11 (C-3). It seems like this will be a place to look around, get soveniers, buy tartufo, and relax. I used the guide book a lot in this guide. I think we should all get familier with the lay-out of the book and also break it in before we get there. I am having a hard time with some of the pages just because it won’t stay open because it is too new. So, let’s break them in and get used to using it before we go. Jut getting used to looking at the map and using it, going back and forth, seeing Italian street names, will be helpful, at least to a point. So, let’s mark it up a little bit. As close as I can figure, where we are staying can be found in Map 3 (B-4) at the corner of Via Nicolo III and Via Stazione Di Pietro.


Piazz della Rebubblica -

Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale - (virtual tour)

Piazza del Quirnale -

Fontana di Trevi -

Temple of Hadrian -

Pantheon - (audio guide) (this is evidently a live shot of the piazza so if your parents look at it around 8 or 9 in the morning on January 1st, they may see us walking around, so let’s remember to wave.

Santa Maria sopra Minerva -

la Maddalena -

Sant’ Eustachio -

Piazza Navona -

I think that is enough for today. Dig into those books.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Day 6, December 31st we will see two Basilicas. St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. Just so you know, if you look at many of the maps or try to locate these in an index they also go by Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore or Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. First, St. Mary Major. Pages 172-173

Of the 4 Patriarcal Basilicas, it is the only one that has kepted its original structure. This basilica is where the relic of the Holy Crib is kept. There is also a Sistine Chapel. I thought there was only one. There is a lot about the history and many pictures, although the web-site doesn’t do a good job of saying what the pictures are, on the website. Our Lady of the Snows comes out of the story that brought about the building of this Basilica. I put a link to Our Lady of Snows which is in Belville, IL.

Well, now a web-site says that St. John’s is the oldest of the Patriarcal Basilicas. And the floor of the Basilica is considered an optical illusion. There is a link with a picture of that. This is also where the Holy Stairs are located.

The itenerary says that we are walking from on Basilica to the other. It is a straight shot down the Via Merulana. It is a 1.1 km walk.Along the walk is the Arch of Gallienus, page 174, the Auditorium of Maecenas, page 175. After both of these it is time for the New Year’s Celebration.