On Sunday night I realized that I only had two days left in Rome, so I made a list of the places that I still needed to see and planned my Monday visits. Michael and I both left at the same time around 8:00am and walked to the Trevi Fountain. As with the last time, the water was turned off and there were men cleaning the fountain and collecting all of the coins that had been thrown in. Apparently the coins are used to help the homeless in Rome. As he headed the opposite direction to go to work, I headed off toward the Campo di Fiore which is a local market.
It was interesting to walk thru the empty streets and realized that they seemed really wide….the reason….none of the restaurants had their tables out in the middle of the street yet!!!
In walking there, I had to go thru Piazza Navona again and was really excited to see that there were very few people in the plaza and it was a wonderful time for taking photos….
The Campo de Fiori market was a fun place to take photos and also do some shopping. It is not as large as the markets that we have seen in Portugal or in China, but had several vendors selling beautiful fruits and vegies….
One of the stalls was filled with bins of herbs and spices, each marked with the type of meal it was to be used with….one was Bruschetta, one was Pesto, etc. I would have loved to buy some, but am afraid that they would not be considered as “processed” foods and not allowed into the US.
I bought a few souvenirs and also some tomatoes and potatoes for our dinner tonight.
The second stop of the day was going to be the Church of San Giovanni in Laterno and the “Scala Santa”. The only problem was that the Holy Stairs closed at noon and it was already 10:50 so I knew that I needed to hurry. I jogged down to the Metro station and hopped onto the train, thinking that the metro station was right across the street from the church. Unfortunately, this is what I saw when I got up to street level…..
Now, if I had of looked UP I could have seen the top of the Cathedral, but since I didn’t do that, I went back into the underground station and came up on the other side of the street, but still no church!!! I walked a couple of minutes and then FINALLY looked up and saw the cathedral….
….on the other side of the wall around the city. So, I hurried thru the portico and up to the cathedral. I walked inside but couldn’t find the Holy Stairs and finally read in Rick Steve’s book that the stairs were in a building on the side of the church. I left on the right side, but finally found out that they were on the left side. I got there about 11:40.
Now about these stairs…..they are called “Scala Santa” and according to tradition, they were brought here to Rome in 326AD by Saint Helen who was Constantine’s mother. It was believed to be the stairway from the palace of Pilate in Jerusalem which Jesus was supposed to have traversed several times on the day of his condemnation. It is comprised of 28 marble steps which have been covered with walnut wood to protect them. Tradition says that that you can only ascend the stairs on your knees and this is what I wanted to do!!!
I was one of the last to be allowed on the stairs before they closed for lunch. It was quite painful to climb them on my knees, but was a wonderful, worshipful experience!!!
I returned to the main church, opened the door and saw this…..
…..I was in quilter’s paradise and proceeded to take 92 photos of the tile patterns in the floor. They were wonderful…..
In the afternoon, Michael and I walked about 2 miles to the church, San Roberto Bellarmino which was built in the 1933. This is the home church of Flavio who is one of Michael’s colleagues at the University, and he has been the organist there for the past 8 years. He gave us a short concert consisting of several wonderful pieces.
It was a great way to end our day!!!!
By the way, while we were waiting for Flavio we saw 2 other fun Beagles….the first was an older male and the second a cute puppy about 4 or 5 months old…thus the name of the post!!!!