Saturday, September 29, 2012

Adventure of Another Kind!!

      Today, Pat and Arthur were planning to attend a convocation on the writings of St. Augustine and I was going to stay here! Arthur called and said we should meet for lunch and that the convocation was near the Vatican and that maybe I could go to the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel while they attended the talks!
      The lure of Michelangelo was way stronger than a restful afternoon at home, so I endured another "cheek-to-jowl-back shattering" bus ride to Vatican City! We had the BEST pizza at a little off-the-beaten-path-air-conditioned (the heat and humidity were both high) tavola calda and I set off to SHOP my way to the Vatican Museum......and I did! I found a wonderful iconography shop with a little library where I could sit and peruse books filled with icons and illuminations (and buy some gorgeous cards!) and a place with some gorgeous scarves.
      So Arthur said I should just follow the Vatican walls to get to the museum. What he did not mention was that it was about a mile walk!!!! I kept turning corners thinking, "This is it!" , but it was just another length of wall!! After climbing (yes, it was uphill!!) and resting and climbing and resting, I finally reach the Museum at 4. I also find out that the museum closes at 5:30!  So I must see what is most important to me i.e. The Sistine Chapel!!! So I begin following the signs which give a vague direction straight ahead. I muscled my way through throngs of tours (and must have said "scusi" a thousand times) only to find another arch or door and ANOTHER corridor! And so I must have walked another mile or so to reach the bottom of a flight of stairs (sigh) Up I go at a snails pace ('cause my back and leg are already shot to hell) with people whizzing by me!!
        Finally, I arrive at the chapel. I enter with great anticipation and reverence,open my cane seat and sit......and sit......and sit..... up by the altar & the guards where no one is jostling me!



   After sitting for while, I pack up my little cane and begin to travel down the length of this amazing work, looking at all the famous scenes and the not-so-famous ones (and rubbing my neck in between -lol!!) I am in total AWE......until a guard comes up to me and indicates that I am not to take pictures!!!!!   NOw there are Japenese people running around with cameras and lenses bigger than my purse, and this guy doesn't want me to use my little iphone????? Doesn't make sense......until look to my left. In my zeal to photograph my girl, the Delphic Sybil, I completely missed the fact that the secret service had entered the back door of the chapel and behind them was president BILL CLINTON!!!!! Now I understood the "no photos" warning (but I took one anyway, which I will not post here for fear of gettinghauled in by the secret service!!) Then I walk another mile or so, buy some neat stuff at the store and exit - oy!

Arthur, Rob and Pat

Arthur, Pat, Rob and Linda

   I am not moving anywhere - tonight I will cook for the boys HERE!!!!

This post looks weird because Ikept trying to edit my mistakes. So I have Christ the judge at the restaurant with us - don't get excited......He wasn't there -lol!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Market day!

     After the day we had Wednesday, I was laying pretty low today. But I needed to go to the market (particularly for TP, bread and jelly, as our friend brought us a jar of peanut butter - evidently unattainable in Europe!) and the bank. It was hot and humid, but I went and got what was needed, came home, put everything away, read a book and took a nap (and it wasn't even Sunday!)
      We met Arthur at the Colosseo, but we were running late.

 So, Arthur, Pat and I (I am getting rather used to being escorted around the city by 2 or more handsome men!!) went back to our "hood" and had dinner here
ROFL!!!   We have been gorging on pasta, pizza and all manner of Italian food for a month, so we thought we'd try it!
      It was pretty amazing to see all these lovely Chinese waitresses speaking Italian and serving up Chinese food!!! So we had a chinese feast of chicken and almonds, s & s pork and shrimp fried rice, spring rolls and dumplings.......and red wine!!!!
  Then we went home and "Skyped" Tyler for his birthday! I wanted so badly to give him (and all 4 of them) a big hug that my arms ached!!
ciao for now

Thursday, September 27, 2012

this you might believe!!!! con't.....

     At the very end of the concert, before himself departed, he gave us all a Papal blessing for us and our families. So you, my family and friends (who are indeed my family) are blest by the Pope!!
       So we get on the bus and travel to this fancy well known restaurant for what s billed as a 4 course dinner!
Here was the dinner:    1)  antipasto

2)rigatoni pomodoro

3)fettuccini a la funghi porcini

4)roasted veal

5) roasted lamb with oven baked potatoes

6) ensalade misti

7) slice of chocolate rum cake

8) bowls of red, green and black grapes.

It took us 3 hours to eat this feast, as each course was served separately! The meal ended perfectly with a red rose and a diet coke (lol) and we didn't get back until 11:30
but the three of us went home feeling very lucky, very tired, very full and VERY blest!

You're not going to believe this cont'd.....

     We arrive at Castel Gandolfo and we have to HIKE........UPHILL....... from the parking lot!!
Ok, I am not in such a great frame of mind by the time we get to the top and my sciatic nerve is KILLING me, but it's beginning to look exciting. We approach the entry door complete with Swiss guards - got close up photos!


there is the lady with the list and a man beside her handing out tickets. And she was checking names VERY thoroughly!! So, I figure I'll spend the next hour and a half exploring the piazza's shops. Then....with 3 people ahead of us.....the Holy Spirit reached down from heaven and sent a man in a suit to tell the woman to hurry this along. She folded the list, with a gesture of disgust and the man with the tickets gave us all one and we ALL went in!!!! Another happy ending.!!!
      As soon as we enter we see more Swiss guards and a row of white chairs behind a white throne on a red carpet. GUESS WHAT???? The opera was written in honor of Benedict XVI and he was going to attend (complete with a feed to St. Peter's Square!).

This is not the day I was expecting!!! :-)

      So, the Holy Father and a bunch of cardinals enter to applause from the crowd. Cameras were flashing and the opera begins.     I am attending an opera with the POPE!!! Madonna Mia!!!!
     A word about the opera: the full title (for you German speakers out there) is "Oper 'Augustinus' - Ein klingendes mosaik" The music was written by a man named Wilfried Hiller and it was offered in honor of Benedict XVI from the diocese of Wurzburg (there should be two little dots over the 1st "u" in Wurzburg but I don't knw how to do that!)
       It is written in German but, thankfully, there was a translation on the facing page......into Italian!! So I still don't know what went on except the main characters were Adeodatus (Augustin's son) Stella (by whom he had the son) and Monica (his mother) There was a large chorus and a smaller male group designated as "voices"
         The music was quite modern and very percussion based (I thought of Tyler a lot, whose birthday is today and who is my percussionist!) The orchestra consisted of a flute, an alto flute, a violin, a zither, a harp, a celesta, tympanies of every size, tom toms, triangles, tambourines, orchestral bells, tubular bells, wood blocks and a variety of percussion "toys" AND water glasses (2 sets of different shapes) filled to varying levels to produce different pitches!!! They were absolutely fascinating to watch!!!

      I am not sure whether Benedict enjoyed it or not as his applause was quite tepid -lol!! But he made a speech at the end (all in German and then, Italian), greeted the cast and the "higher ups" and departed.

The "ticket"
 The program
 The Swiss guard
 The company, the orchestra and HIMSELF!!!!!
but wait......there's (yum) more......

You're not going to believe this!!!!

This blg entry may take more than one post - bear with me!
     Before we left for Italy, Pat's colleague and our friend, Arthur brought a conference on St. Augustine, taking place in Rome to Pat's attention. He said he was going to be in Rome that week and it would be great to go. Included in this (free) conference was a tour of the pope's summer palace, Castel Gandolfo. So they signed up. I thought I might like to go along for that tour too.
       Fast forward to yesterday. It is the first day of the conference and the bus leaves for the tour at 3:30 PM.   In the morning, I try to go to the market, which turned out to be closed for some unfathomable reason.  While I was walking back, Pat calls and says that Arthur thinks that I can get in on the tour. So I scurry home (as fast as I can scurry with a cane!). Pat shows me the flyer. Evidently this is not just a tour; it is a concert (of an opera entitled "Augustinus") and a multi course dinner after.
      Ok, so we are waiting in the middle of a street near the Bernini columns (the meeting place) and the buses show up, as does a woman with a list of names. I figured my chances of getting on this bus were slim to none as only Pat and Arthur's names were on the list. As she is checking names for th 2nd bus, the woman on the first bus says they need 10 more. So they shepherd 10 of us, including me, onto the bus!!   YES!!!!!   I am in!!!!!
      So we ride (in horrendous traffic) for an hour and a half to Castel Gandolfo, listening to the conversation of a bus full of Germans!! All I kept thinkng of was the MC from Cabaret!!! LOL!!!
    to be continued.......

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The day after the days before.....

Ok, so it is Monday and I have resolved NOT to move from the apartment. Being an introvert, I needed to recharge after our wonderful visit with my SIL and her husband. They are such lovely people and a real joy to have "in the hood"!! They thoroughly enjoyed their tour and were pretty pooped when we put them in the taxi to the airport!
     So I stayed home and read, played on the computer, ate and slept!
At night, we had a dinner date with a friend of Pat's with whom he was in the Franciscan seminary. We were to meet at S. Maria Maggiore which is at the end of our street (10 long blocks away) So Pat & I decided to take a bus to Termini and make our way to the church.
We arrived at Termini and Pat deduced that we had to walk down Via Cavour to get to where we were going. As we walked, we passed a men's clothing store which had reasonable prices of their clothes posted in the window. I stopped to look and was aware of a man standing behind me , also looking in the window. Then I heard Pat say "Bob?????" Well doncha know, it was Bob and his friend. We hooted and hugged and kissed and exclaimed about the coincidence!!! Then we went off to dinner.

        They had not seen each other for over 40 years and the jaws were flappin'!!! Pat and Bob regaled Don (Bob's friend) and me with old war stories (most of which I had heard before) of life in novitiate and after! It was a totally charming evening (and the food was luscious!!!!) We all exchanged photos of our kids and grandkids and email addresses and vowed to stay in touch!
This is Bob and Don - Don a very nice man despite the fact that he is holding  knife!!!!

 This was our dessert - ricotta pie with chocolate chips (yes, I have determined that my hives are not caused by chocolate - thank GOD!!!!)
 And here are Pat, his sister Mary Ann and her husband, Richard having "2nd breakfast" The big cherry tart is mine!!!!
ciao tutti!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Day in the Life.....

Mary ann and Richard arrived yesterday morning and Richard made a beeline to the pastry store and bought the place out. Then we had "2nd breakfast" all morning!! They were pretty beat from the tour, so Pat & I went to the market to get what I needed for today's feast!. Around 6:30, we set out to find the great Roman Waterfire (an import from our town of Providence, RI) We got on a bus that was so crowded that I think (but not sure!!) that I might be having someone's baby!!! People just kept getting on and getting on and no one was getting off!! After 25 minutes of this, we arrived at the appointed stop and began to walk. Pat kept saying "I know the Tiber is in that direction" and he was right. But the Tiber is a L-O-N-G river and by the time we established where we "thought" it was, we were so far away from it and I was shot!!
     So we had dinner at Pizzaria di Loreto and came home.
      Around 3 AM, we were nestled all snug in our beds. It was a cool night so the windows were open. All of a sudden this drunk starts yelling at the top of his lungs "ROME" - over and over and over again and ringing all the doorbells of our apartment building. After 1/2 an hour of this, he finally made contact with "ROME" who said he was the happiest he had been in his whole life. Well, One can only imagine what had transpired that evening and we were wide awake. It took a while to get back to sleep - GRRRRRRR!!!!!!! and I am fading now.......
      Somewhat bleary-eyed, I set off to rehearse with the Caravita folks - it was an interesting rehearsal conducted in English, Italian and Spanish, but I caught most of the stuff. It is quite a lovely community and liturgy!
      Now I am at the apartment (re-charging and cooking) while Pat, Richard and Mary Ann do the Pantheon and surrounding churches!
     Oh yeah, we "facetimed" with the Tim Reid's - Lord, I miss my grands!! And I think Taya is not totally convinced that we are ever coming home!
Ciao, amici

Saturday, September 22, 2012

a shot of the 4th century cemetery

Orvieto? NOT!

Well, we are NOT in Orvieto! Pat's sister and her husband are returning from their tour and we realized that so short a time in Orvieto would not be, we go another time! meh!
     So our consolation prize was a trip( with our friend Rob) to Saint Paul Outside the Walls. This did NOT disappoint!! It is an amazing basilica - huge and beautiful. This is where St. Paul is buried - will post pic of the tomb and his chains - there is also (out back) a portion of a 4th c. cemetery - another amazing site!
      At 6PM, the Benedictine monks who care for the basilica chanted Vespers. Any of my NPM friends who went through an all day set of sight-reading showcases will appreciate this!
The Vespers were chanted in both Italian and Latin and the chant was laid out in Neumes!!! So I was simultaneously trying to sight-read neumes (and the antiphons were quite complex!) and figure out the pronunciation of either the Latin or the Italian! The only praying I did was that I did not make a glaring mistake too loudly!!!  Lol!
    As a reward for  all that, we went to dinner (after a lengthy rest and conversation sitting on a wall facing the coloseum!) We had an antipasto of fresh mozzarella and roasted vegetables (which I was unable to photo graph as it disappeared SO fast!. Then I had gnocci, laced with mozzarella - there is a photo of that! (especially for Sandi, the gnocci queen)
This first photo is the Jubilee door at st. Pauls that JPII opened in the year 2000
 This is a gorgeous angel at the top of the main door of St. Pauls
This is a panel from the most recent door installed at St. Paul's depicting Paul's martyrdom
Paul's tomb - his chain is in a case above the tomb but my flash reflected too much light
 Colloseo at night
 My marvelous gnocci.....mmmmmm.....
      This morning, we are awaiting the arrival of Pat's sister and husband and we will attend "Waterfire in Rome" tonight - should be interesting!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A post of it's own!

Oh yeah, THIS deserves a post of it's own!
     I love my ensemble!!  I love the people I have left in charge! But they nearly killed me by sending me an mp3 of rehearsal Wednesday night.
     Because of the readings this week, I had planned to do Marty Haugen's "Unless You Learn" from his wonderful work "Song f Mark" My son, who is one of my subs) portrayed Jesus when we actually performed the work. So I get this email from Liz (one of my altos) saying that they had recorded the song for me, knowing how much I loved it. So, I settle in to hear it, with a sweet smile on my face, anticipating a tear or two!
     With the first notes, my jaw drops and I am close to fainting. They have rendered a country-western version!!! They are trying to KILL me!!   Lol!!! Then, after much hilarity, they settle down and do the piece beautifully! They actually put it on Youtube!!!
      Have I mentioned that I love my ensemble......even if they are trying to kill me!!! :-)


    Today, I will begin by squeezing myself into the torture chamber they call a shower! Lol!! I will attempt to wash my hair without bruising my elbows!! The slippery floor has become a non-issue as there is no room to fall down!!!
      Anyway, we are waiting to hear whether or not our trip to Orvieto will materialize. Rob cannot leave until 2 and we have to be back tomorrow morning because Mary Ann and Richard are arriving back from their tour. Rob s checking to see if we can ride the train up to Orvieto and if there is a late train to get us back here! Hey, if it doesn't work,  it's no big deal - we can go another time!
     We have attended daily Mass several times at S. Susanna - it MUST be an anniversary chapel or something because everytime we have gone, there has been a renewal of vows by married couples. This lovely little arrangement was on the altar for this last one yesterday.
Personally, I don't care for daily mass. Everything is spoken (can you say "Alleluia Alleluia?)
and seems to go against everything for which I strive at Sunday mass - but that's a story for another time....I'd rather sing the Liturgy of the Hours
     So, tomorrow night is "waterfire" in Rome. We hope to go and take Mary Ann and Richard so they can see a bit of Rhode Island brought to Rome. Waterfire is the brainchild of a Providence artist. We have been having them for years in the summers and Autumns. Large braziers of wood are set on stanchions in the Providence river downtown and they are lit as darkness falls. It is quite beautiful and the mayor of Providence and the mayor of Rome have decided to share this with the Romans! It will be interesting (if we can find it!) to see how it looks on the Tiber!
Ciao for now....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spanish Steps

Yesterday, after the ironing debacle, we went to the Spanish Steps and Piazza Spagne on the Metro (lots of walking - I was shot!) It was mobbed with all sorts of people carrying all sorts of cameras (including me!) I quit even window shopping after I saw a pair of shoes for $750.00!!!!

     There is this wonderful monument at the end of the piazza. Mary is at the top, but there are 4 statues of Old Testament figures about 1/2 way up. Of course, David with his harp is my favorite!

Photos: 1) David with his harp!
              2)  Despite the resemblance to "Audrey II" in "Little Shop of Horrors" they are Chestnuts (and yes, they were roasting on an open fire)
          3) For everyone and every reason, there is gelato! All the men in the shop were asking for a taste!!  Lol!!
      4) Dinner last night - beef pattie with a potato, eggplant, pepper and zuchini mixtures.......and I made it!

ciao amici, L.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

So what am I doing today?

     As I may have mentioned, we have a washer but no dryer. The clothes are draped over a wire rack and any other piece of furniture handy. As if that isn't enough of  drawback, my husband's shirts dry wrinkly as prunes and have to be IRONED!!! Yeah, well there is an ironing board in the shared closet and an iron. So I begin to blithely iron Pat's two shirts (one I made him change out of this morning -apparently, it doesn't register in his "antiquities-of-the-Capitoline" filled mind that he looks like he just rolled out of bed!!)
      I set up the drying rack (for my wet laundry) and the ironing board and plug in the iron. Fine! I begin to iron, but every time I try to iron something on the pointy end of the board, it collapses - grrrrr - it is not weighted properly.This is NOT something that makes the job any easier, especially when you are holding a HOT piece of metal in your dominant hand!!! :-p
    Anyway, the shirts look great now.....but I never thought I would be ironing in Rome - I don't even iron at home except to make T-shirt transfers -lol!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Tale of Two Michelangelos

Oh the riches of Rome!!!  Yesterday, after Pat came back from the Center, we went to our old haunt, the Pantheon Piazza! Beyond there (in 2 different directions, ma certo!!) are two churches of interest to us and we visited both of them.
      The first one is called S. Maria Sobbra Minerva. This is a church dedicated to Mary that was built over (sobbra) a temple to Minerva. Here are housed many wonders (besides the obvious presence of the Blessed Trinity!) and among them is a statue of the Risen Christ sculpted by Michelangelo Buonoratti! He stand out majestically from any other sculpture in the place - His polished and sinewey limbs are muscularly defined, looking every bit Resurrected and His face is a wonder!!!! Christ holds a cross and a rope and a staff. It is the closest I've ever come to the work of "the master" and I could actually TOUCH it!!! I am fainting!!
      The next church is called S. Luigi de Francesi (it's the French national church here in Rome) and it is the home of 3 incredible works by Michelangelo de Carravaggio! They are in the chapel of S. Matthew and depict scenes from his life (as Carravaggio sees them) - the call, the inspiration for the gospel and the martyrdom. They virtually jump off the walls in their realism and his use of chiaroscuro! We had watched a video including these works and the representations pale in comparison to the real works!! I am blown for sustenance!!!  :-)
     We took the bus back and got off near an Irish pub (on via Nazionale!!) where we decided to have dinner. There we met 2 English couples who were pub keepers in central England. The cockney accents threw us almost as much as the ITalian, but we managed to understand each other for a good hour and a half!
     Just below - Michelangelo's Risen Christ - and then there is the "modesty" bronze adornment!!
    In my excitement over the Michelangelo, I nearly forgot to mention that Fra Angelico's tomb is in the same church, as is (3rd photo) the body of S. Catherine of Sienna. They only have the body......her head is in ......Sienna!!! For propriety's sake they sculpted a head on this one!
      Next we have the inspiration of S. Matthew - this photo does the work NO justice but, as you might imagine, we are kept afar from the paintings.
     The last picture is of a candlestick that I WANT.......but it was too big to fit in my purse -lol!
ciao and love to all!

     This Friday.....Orvieto.....or friend Rob will drive and we will visit this beautifully historic town!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Total YUM

I was searching around for a little morning yum yum and I spied the package of pastry we bought yesterday for breakfast.  I got something called a tartuffe.  Well, I sliced a piece off - OMG!!!   It's a solid ball of rum flavored chocolate rolled in chocolate chips! What a taste sensation!!! Have a mean a look!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sundays in Rome

     Today we returned to the Caravita community for liturgy. Once again, the liturgy was so beautifully done with the same presider and homilist (outstanding homily yet again for a tough set of readings!). This week, a group of about 50 students on tour from Scotland joined us for liturgy. One of the girls said it was the best Mass she had ever been to! AND it looks like I am going to be co-cantor next week. The cantor and organist both approached me after Mass. They rehearse for 45 minutes before Mass so I guess I will give it a try! I am going to love being a part of this grace-filled liturgy! (and yet, I miss St. Thomas! Happy birthday, Fr. John!! )
        As we were strolling in the piazza after mass, Pat and I agreed that this beat our usual Sunday routine of coming home from church and getting tuna sandwiches from Subway -lol!!! So we shopped in this amazing  food store and bought Lemon and almond liquors - major YUM!! - and some coffee, as Pat has become quite adept at making expresso! We had lunch at a great little place way off the piazza and I had FRIES!!!! It was a tribute to my American home, but they taste better in Italy!
     It was a perfect day weather wise, so we sat on a wall outside the Pantheon and people-watched!
    We got to Caravita a bit early so we visited St. Ignatius church next door. It was all lit up and had live trees in the nave! Irene, can we have live trees for Easter??  Lol!!

The first photo is the facade of the church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Next is a crucifixion with the Mother of Sorrows in St. Ignatius
The third photo is an obelisk from a temple to Isis in Egypt balanced on an elephant sculpted by Bernini in the piazza Minerva
And the last one is of the live trees and lights in (pretty blurry) in st. Ignatius

Saturday, September 15, 2012


This morning, Pat wanted to go back to the Capitoline museum because he didn't feel like he had seen enough antiquities when we went and he is taking the class on Wednesday. I HAD seen enough antiquities so I begged off and went shopping!
      The sculpture garden across the way has some GORGEOUS stuff that will find it's way to my home (the lady even showed me where to go to ship it home - it's right in the neighborhood!!!!) I bought an oil lamp - it's beautiful!  Then, I got something for my daughter in law. I'm not sayin' cause she might read the blog!! :-). I went to a leather shop and got a birthdaypresent for Father John (for those of you who don't know, he is my boss, my pastor and my friend!) and I found a store that sells women's clothing bigger than size 4 and got a light weight coat!
      We returned home within 5 minutes of each other and had a nice lunch here with salami, bread, salad and fresh peaches!!
       Just below is the only man who could come between Pat and I - Michelangelo (who designed the plans for the church made from the ruins of the baths of Diocletian)
      Then there is me, communing with an angel in the same church.
Then there is our sign of the zodiac, Pisces, along the timeline in the church. There are two openings which let in light and the light falls on the correct sign of the zodiac depending on the time of year!

     The photos are from yesterday, when we did our neighborhood church tour in the pouring rain!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross! This was taken in the church of S. Maria, Regina degli angeli.
      Mary Ann and Richard are on their way for their 10 day tour and we are going to have dinner with Rob White again tonight!!

So, after a night of sound sleep, we will set out for the church tour!!! Here is Pat and his sister

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We have company!!!

     Pat's sister and her husband have arrived in Rome and are staying the night with us before they take off on their own tour of Italy! Tomorrow, we will take them to "our" churches right here in the neighborhood - 4 within 3 blocks - and buy them some gelato!!!. It has been very nice to spend an evening talking with people whom you are fairly sure understand you - lol!!! I'll post a photo tomorrow!!
     A fairly violent storm blew in some of the coolest weather I have seen since I arrived 2 weeks ago! We have shut off the a/c and are sleeping with the windows open for the first time. You can hear every conversation down on the street - we are on the 3rd floor - and they sound like they are in the room!!! Every time a car goes by, I feel like I want to jump out of the way 😨 and....there are no screens.......oh crap!!!! He comes a helicopter!!!! I may never get to sleep!!!😱

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So I am sitting here in my apartment, thinking about going shopping. There is a marvelous little Cartoleria on the corner which sells old pens, calligraphy pens and nibs and inks. I will definitely go there. Then there is a jewelry store.....yeah, there too!! In the meantime, I am looking our my window at the sculptor's shop across the street and trying to figure out how to get one home!!!
Love you.....miss you....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A bit of nothing

You've commented about how heavenly and beautiful this all sounds and, indeed, it IS!!!!! But there ARE some drawbacks:
      The showers are about 3 feet square - large enough for standing upright, but as soon as you raise your elbows to wash something....bang! Bang!.....and forget about your feet. And washing your hair is an adventure!! They have covered the floor with a substance that turns slippery as ice the moment water touches it, so there is the balance factor too! Now I know why the hygiene factor differs in Europe! Lol!!
    You would think that a restaurant that is nice enough to have damask table cloths and napkins would have enough funds for a toilet seat!!!! What is the deal with balancing over the porcelain bowl????
    Taking the bus gets old after a while ( for this person who jumps in her car for any errand) but they run pretty regularly and I am getting the hang of it!
     Cobblestones and canes are a tough combination!! I have found a cane here to replace the one that was taken and it is a huge help as it lets me sit when the sciatic nerve gets too irritated. It has a seat that opens.but the cobblestones grab on to the bottom!
      Pat no longer has to trek out (2 doors down) for expresso in the morning - we have now learned to make it and the stove even has a setting for the expresso pot so the flame doesn't get too wide!!
     Carrying the groceries home has proven somewhat less of a challenge as we found a cart with wheels in the shared closet on our floor!! Yay!!!
     Oh yeah, I broke out in hives the first day I went to the center - very specific places-under my right arm to the elbow and on my right leg. The next day it was the left u dream to the elbow and the left toe - go figure??? I still itch a bit but it is getting netter! Above^_ I mean left arm - for some reason, it won't let me correct!
Ciao, amici! Enough be-atchin' for now!
Our little ( hold three people basta) elevator!!!! I love it!,,,

Sunday, September 9, 2012


    Today (Sunday) we worshipped with the Caravita Community. This place was recommended to me by Michael Joncas, so it was no surprise that the liturgy was beautiful, prayerful and done with style and grace!(As an aside, we've been to Sunday Eucharist in two different churches and both of them used pieces written by Michael!!) But the homilist was amazing!!! His homily was at least 20 minutes long and every word, every story, every allusion was compelling! We felt so blest to hear it!! We also read that Mozart had given a concert there in that little oratory when he was a teen. It was wondrous to know that we walked on the same floor as he did and made music in the same place that he did!! Oh yeah, the cantor asked me to sing with the choir (which consisted of the cantor and 3 empty chairs -lol!!)
        Then we went to the Pantheon (which is just down the street) and got to see the wonders of the inside. Aside from the miraculous dome, the more modern renderings of the stations of the cross blew my mind! We had lunch at a great little tavola - wonderful salads and brushchetta!!
     Since my back was shot, we came home around 3:30, got gelato and learned how to make expresso with that little pot thingy We were very proud of ourselves!! :-)
     Pat is now preparing for tomorrow's class!

Love to all!

Just above is our lunch salad (I figured this would balance out all the calories in the pastries Iposted last time.
Above that -The 10th station (Jesus is stripped) in the Pantheon
Above that - The 12th station (Jesus dies on the cross) in the Pantheon
Above that is "God" shining through the dome at the Caravita Oratory!
and the top picture is a marble angel in the church of St. Ignatius, right next door to Caravita. (We had to take a bus and we got there early so we poked around in the church next door!! )