Ciao lettori! Today was lovely, weather and itinerary-wise. However, let me get you up to speed first – I totally spaced on yesterday’s entry.
Monday, we began our walked of the Campius Martius area in the Piazza Navona. From there, we went to the Chiesa di San Luigi dei francesi – France’s national church in Rome. There were 3 Caravaggio paintings on display, each depicting a scene from the life of Saint Matthew: The Calling of Saint Matthew, Saint Matthew and the Angel, and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew. The paintings were absolutely stunning. I love Caravaggio’s work, especially his chiaroscuro skills. Seeing those three early works of his was one of the highlights of the day.
After the church, we had lunch near the Campo de’ Fiori and then got a tour of the Jewish Ghetto and Museum. It was my first entrance into a synagogue, but it was beautiful! The style is less ornate than most of the churches we’ve seen, but I think that has to do with the fact that according to the Jewish religion, you cannot display representations of God. I recommend going to the Tempio Maggiore di Roma (largest synagogue in Rome) for a change of religious pace. The tour is really informative and I learned a lot about the structure and history of the Ghetto.
Now, onto today: we headed to the Vatican City at 8:30am. I love walking down the Via della Conciliazione into the piazza, right between the two colonnades. St. Peter’s is one of my favorite buildings in Rome, and this trip only certified that. Our group was lucky enough to get to go into the Necropolis under St. Peter’s. This is a privelege only 200 people get per day. I was elated.
Anyway, the necropolis is awesome and totally helped me visualize the layering, starting with the Mausoleums from the 1st century until the Basilica that we see today. They unearthed what are believed to be the bones of St. Peter (but of course, it’s highly debated). After our tour, I climbed the cupola, all 551 steps and on the way down, walked around the Basilica’s interior. A five-star experience at the Vatican.
I still have to write another required entry, so it’s time to get back to work. I’ve got some fresh peaches from the market to make up for it.