Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday, Sept. 3 Labor Day in Rome or “Hop on, Hop off.”

Nothing like watching LL Cool J, Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas dubbed in Italian before going to sleep. 

Our Mini - Pilgrimage continued today. 

We woke up and after breakfast we headed to the Termini to catch our Hop on, Hop off bus. We rode across the city until we got to the Colosseum and the area of ancient Rome. Our bus stopped in front of the Arch of Constantine. It was awesome to think of the emperor who brought Christianity to the Roman Empire, by legalizing Christianity.  To see the Colosseum is almost surreal. We were awed by the structure and its magnificence. It was built in 80 A.D. To see a structure that old took our breath away. 

We found a quaint outside restaurant across the street from the Colosseum, where we enjoyed our first Roman-style pizza. Then we began the walk to visit the church called San Giovanni in Laterno (St. John Latern). Built in 318 A.D., it became the first church in Rome where once persecuted Christians could worship openly and legally. In Medieval times it was the seat of the Catholic Church and remained so until St. Peter’s Basilica was completed during the Renaissance.  It was really beautiful inside with impressive statues of the 12 Apostles and St. Paul. The 2000 year old bronze doors originally hung in the Roman Senate. We prayed in this church before going back to the Colosseum area. We enjoyed a thunderstorm and a cup of gelato on the way back to the Colosseum. 

We walked through an area where the University of Rome is excavating a part of the northeast slopes of the Palantine. We walked up to the top of the hill and discovered a hidden treasure in the Church of St. Bonaventura. Its facade was plain, but inside was another story. We are slowly discovering that every church in Rome is magnificent. Walking up the hill to the church were the Stations of the Cross built into the outside wall. 

Walking back to the Arch of Constantine to grab out bus, Richard decided to be photographed with his beloved Ole Miss flag. Then, it was back on the bus and back across the city to the Triton Fountain, which is around the corner from our hotel. 

We came in and decided to rest a bit before dinner. We may return to the Spanish Steps this evening to check out the shopping and find dinner. 

Tomorrow, the Vatican and the Holy Stairs, which we missed today because of the storm! 
 The Colosseum
 Richard in St. John Lateran
 The 2000 year old bronze doors at St. John Lateran
 Hidden treasure: the altar and tabernacle at St. Bonaventura
St. Bonaventura Church

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