Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday in Roma during Holy Week 2008



Every day in Roma SHOULD
start with some gelato!


How would you like to live in this building?
Note the gelateria on the ground floor


The Colosseum

How could the Rams and the Raiders both have left this great arena in the same season?


The other J.C. who is big in Roma, 
Julius Caesar

Remember that this picture was taken only 3 days after the Ides of March.


A small portion of the Monument
to Vittorio Emanuele II


"Elefanti Mai Stanchi!"


The Pantheon

My favorite building in Roma, this comment drew the ire of our friend Father Juan Jose who had a VERY strong opinion about St. Peter's Basilica.


The Pantheon's signature oculus and ceiling


Preparing the Pantheon for Holy Week services


Either the latest spring fashions for men

OR . . .

A recreation of the 1964 Masters at Augusta with Palmer and Nicklaus walking to the 18th tee.


The Tiber River looking at
Vatican City in the distance


Holy Week is like Super Bowl Week
for these guys!


Getting St. Peter's Square ready for
His return engagement


St. Peter's Basilica at dusk


My photography guru once told me that the best time to take photos is during the last hour of sunlight, again St. Peter's Basilica


Dinner in Roma with our dear family friend Father Juan Jose


The inside of Santa Maria Maggiore's Basilica
Father Juan Jose is in charge of this Basilica


Monday’s Practice
Monday night was an interesting practice for us. The offense was all there but we were missing several defenders. Matteo, the coach who does a great job with our defense, played defensive end. In the meantime I was recruited to play middle LB, defensive end and strong safety! Matt burned me deep one time so he must be pretty good.

Monday’s Internet Update
During the day our internet connector showed up at Malibu one hour early to hook us up! After he spoke with Gustavo, we were informed that our address did NOT match up with the one on his call slip therefore he could NOT possibly set up the internet today. When asked when he would return he said it would be in about TWO MONTHS!

A Dose of Humility
Lucky’s wife, Federica, works with her parents running a VERY nice jewelry store on Corso Italiano. I drove Laurie and Christie over there before practice and Laurie really liked a pair of earrings, surprise. Good quality, good price, SOLD! Or so I thought…to my very great embarrassment my VISA card was rejected. I know we’ve spent a lot of money with trips to Rome twice, Florence and Palermo but we should not be maxed out. I was mortified. They were very nice about it knowing that Laurie was leaving for America on Wednesday and let her have the earrings saying I could pay for them later. After practice and after another very good dinner at Nino Mannino’s, we went back to Davide’s office to call the Bank of America about the VISA card problem. They told me that they knew I was in Italy through August and that I am a valued customer so they had upgraded my card from a platinum card to a signature card. In doing so they had cancelled my current card without telling me and the signature card will have new numbers! Bottom line is that they reactivated my card. Did I mention that when they were founded, in San Francisco I think, they were called the Bank of Italy?

Mugged in Catania Again!
No, not in the same way as last time but very effective in separating us from our money nonetheless. We were flying to Rome on Wind Jet and upon weighing in Laurie’s only piece of luggage were informed that it weighed 29 kilos, 14 kilos over the limit. Now remember that the two of us are allowed a total of four pieces of luggage, which means as much as 60 kilos of weight. We tried to point the fact out that her bag weighed 1 kilo less than if she had two bags and 31 kilos less than if we had the full complement of four bags. IMPOSSIBLE! The fine was 110 euros!!! Remember, her roundtrip ticket to Roma only cost 72 euros. So, in essence, we were mugged again in Catania but with a peaceful smile this time.

Roma on Tuesday of Holy Week, 2008
First order of business in Roma was to buy Laurie a second piece of luggage. We found a shop about 4 doors from our hotel and bought one for 17 euros thus solving any weight problems for Laurie’s flight home on British Air.

Then it was off to walk to our favorite sights, the Coliseum, the Forum, the Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica. We just love this city and can’t see enough of it. It is so easy to walk around in Roma and of course, it is quite romantic. The crowds were still small and the Vatican at dusk was incredible!
While at the Pantheon, we randomly ran into Brandon, Tony, Matt and Monte who arrived in Roma about two hours before we did. They were doing fine, enjoying the great sights and staying out of harm’s way.

Our family has a long time friend, Father Juan Jose D’Oronsorro, who has lived in Rome and worked in the Vatican for FIFTY years! He is in charge of one of the four major basilicas in Roma, Santa Maria Maggiore. After finishing his 6:00 p.m. meeting with his Cardinal, he met us at Campo di Fiori. He suggested a nice restaurant nearby for us to enjoy dinner so we all went together to Fratelli la Buffala. In the small world of gluttony, this is the same restaurant that Laurie and I enjoyed her first night in Roma three weeks ago! Jason and I discovered this chain when we visited Messina in February. Jason and Matt visited this same restaurant in Roma when they visited earlier this month. None of us have been disappointed in any of our visits. It was great to spend an evening with Father Juan Jose, he is always so positive and upbeat. When I think of what a priest should be, his face always comes to mind. By the way, the VISA card worked!

Roma is obviously one of the greatest cities in the world and I can’t think of a better place to be for one last night with Laurie.

I’ve included a vlog taken in St. Peter’s Square. You can’t really see Laurie’s face very well but I still think you’ll like the vlog.

video

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