Wednesday - 11/12/03
- Woke up early to get ready for "Papal visit"
- Breakfast at Hotel Domus Mariae. No "Cafe Americana" only STRONG Italian coffee.
Gorgeous... no wait, "exquisite" hotel!
- Taxi to USO for escort to St. Peter's Square. Took photos & waited for Pope John Paul II to arrive
The USO gave us tickets for the Papal Visit, the experience of a lifetime.
Traffic in Rome, Italy
Waiting for Pope in St. Peter's Square
- "Papal Car" arrived & toured around audience before driving Pope to stage
There goes the Pope Mobile
Cruising up to stage
- Reading after Pope's welcome in which he read from script in Latin. Translations were then read by Cardinals who interpreted in French, English, Spanish & Italian.
Pope giving welcome address
- Each Cardinal presented list of groups who attended to greet the Pope.
Pope & Cardinals
- Pope gave special blessings to those who attended and requested to receive it.
- Shopping in St. Peter's Square (Pope items)
- Lunch at restaurant in Rome (Mom had fruit salad, me soup/bread - BLAND!, Allen steak & egg meal)
- St. Peter's Basilica - toured & took photos (obelisk & St. Peter's Basilica)
(on wall inside basilica)
Pietà by Michelangelo in St. Peter's
Tombs beneath St. Peter's Basilica
- Back to USO to pick up items
Left our shopping finds there instead of schlepping them all over Rome.
- Shopped at gift shop (gifts for family/friends - rosaries for Jeanne, etc.)
- Trevi Fountain - threw coins & took photos
Throwing coins over shoulders
Fontana di Trevi - beautiful fountain!
- Byzantine Tower Obelisk - "Column of Marcus Auraleus" - St. Paul on the top
Column of Marcus Aurelius
- Walked by Parliament - lots of media & security outside. Later learned a suicide bomber blew up the Italian security (?) office in Iraq!
- Saw Pantheon & Mom sat at small restaurant (outside) & waited at table while Allen & I toured & took pictures inside the Pantheon.
Tomb in Pantheon
Madonna & Child
- Discovered the jewelry shop down street where purchased anniversary gift (needed brand new battery for final delivery, merchant went out to get one - store closed so he agreed to deliver 11/13 with reduced price.)
The merchant, Bertini & De Matteis, was actually called an "Orafi e Argentieri". His son did all of the legwork in finding a watch battery by running all over Rome. This kind of customer service was shocking to me - they treated my purchase like it was the most important sale of the week!
- Walked by the Piazza de Venezia ("Wedding Cake" - white) where we saw the guards outside the "tomb of the unknown soldier"
- Took Metro to McDonald's (dinner)
- Back to hotel - shower/sleep