20 May 2012

Roma: The Colosseum, Friendships, & Fascinations

 On our second full day, we were astonished at all we accomplished and with the ease in which it unfolded. I chalk it up to all the prayers enlisted. We did not go inside the Colosseum on the previous day, as the pass we bought at Palatine Hill (sneaky guide book trick) was good for 48 hours and for the Colosseum. Because of the pass we bypassed a 2 hour-wait line and managed to, I think accidentally, enter through the tour-group line. Which means we were inside in all of 5 minutes. Unreal. Who gets into the Colosseum in 5 minutes?

 At some other point, I'll have to write in more detail, for there really is so much to express in the sights that we have beheld. But for now, I'll content myself with these brief photo and journal entries as concrete documentation that we are, indeed, doing all that we are!

 Right after viewing the Colosseum, we dashed off to the Church of San Clemente for a long awaited meeting. Last fall, once I knew for sure we were taking this trip, I started trolling Google and sending query emails to archeologists based in Rome (as I figured they would speak English). I spoke of our family and our upcoming trip and of Peter's love of the ancient and archeology. I had no idea what kind of responses I would receive, if any, but why not try, right? Maybe someone would feel compelled to answer and give us a few tips.

I did, in fact, receive a few kind emails of encouragement. But one, in particular, was from a man who said he was just Samuel's age when he first fell in love with all that Samuel has. He explained his profession as a professor of archeology in Rome and offered up suggestions of all that we might see and consider on our trip. From there plans emerged and a pen-pal relationship developed. In addition to his thoughtful attention via emails ... he mentioned he would be willing to meet up with us in the city, once we came. The offer was beyond my expectations.

On Friday, we met at S. Clemente and he gave us a tour rich with fact, explanation, and passionate detail. Fascinating. Peter was a bit in awe, as I think we all were. After our on-sight investigations, we all went to lunch and the Professor helped us order a feast. As lunch proceeded, we all began realizing that a true friendship was forming.

I'm still humbled that he would take the time out of his busy days for our little circus troupe of a family. We talked of future plans to meet again and possible Skype encounters. What an unforeseen blessing.

Moreover, the Professor also guided us through the Metro procedures, as we turned into confused little squirrels at the very thought. After a generous on-site tutorial and even spotting us the correct change since our denominations were too large (Italians are much less dependent on using plastic commerce as us Americans! Cash is used and expected), we made our way across the city to the Vatican.

We wandered, stared, and gawked at the opulence. And even climbed all 323 steps up St. Peter's cupola. What a view.

Again, more to come at a later date to expound upon these experiences. My grammar is poor and my thoughts muddled, but it is good to chronicle the days. And this day was perhaps my favorite thus far.


  1. Looks like an amazing day!! Thanks for sharing your adventures with those of us stuck at home!

  2. I am so glad that you were able to meet with that Professor, and that it went so well. That is so special for S! Looks like great weather, too. Neat photos! Everything just looks like it is going so well. Can't believe your'e on the other side of the world!