Thursday, May 5, 2011

When in Rome…

We found unbelievably inexpensive airfare to Rome, too good to pass up.  It was only after booking them did we realize we had just put ourselves in Rome over Easter weekend!  Because of this, finding good lodging proved difficult, but eventually we found a very nice and affordable self-catering apartment.  Off we went.

We saw the Pantheon…

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…we saw the Colosseum and Roman Forum…

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…Kate was not much impressed by any of it, but did enjoy playing with water.

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In fact, she played in nearly every fountain/pond/faucet/etc. she possibly could. 

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She also chased pigeons.  Alot.

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We dragged her all throughout the streets of Rome…

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…and she handled it well, often sleeping on the go.

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On the night of Good Friday we went to a candlelight service led by the Pope at the Colosseum, and there was a sea of people in every direction, as far as the eye could see…

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It was a fantastic and full trip, but to wrap up this post I’ll mention two highlights.  First, the Catacombs of St. Callixtus (no pictures, as photography was no permitted).  Founded in the middle of the second century, just a short distance outside the walls of Rome there is a network of catacombs where the early Christians would bury their dead.  These Christians did so because Roman law forbade burial places in city limits and because the pagans had a practice of incinerating corpses.  I found the whole thing fascinating, and appreciated the symbolism and yet simplicity that marked their burial sites.      

Second, we celebrated Easter with a Sunday morning worship service at the Rome Baptist church.  Being English speaking, Protestant, and not requiring tickets in advance, this was much more suiting than some other, more high-profile options.  Anyway, It was largely an international church congregation, filled with wonderful and vibrant Christians.  Even as visitors we felt very welcome and connected with these believers.  For me, there was something refreshing about going to a church as a worshiper rather than a tourist…

One more thing- we didn’t check a bag.  Carry-on bags only, for a whole week, with a 15 month old (and related gear).  Many might consider this uninteresting, but I considered it a personal victory.