Thursday, September 30, 2010

November 12th, 2003: Vatican & Rome

As it turned out, this journal entry was written on the day of our 10th wedding anniversary. So there I was in Rome wishing my handsome groom were there with me so that we could celebrate our special day. On the other hand, what better place to find the perfect anniversary gift than Rome? Read on:

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
Tomorrow: Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

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