When in Rome: "Basilicas, Basilicas, Basilicas!"
Following Catholic Charities staff member Lynn Grandon as she travels to Rome, Italy for the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.
Lynn and her husband are leading a group of approximately 30 pilgrims from throughout the United States in a whirlwind itinerary.
Beyond the April 27 ceremonies, their group will explore the sights and sounds of Rome and Vatican City.
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This was a day of total satiation for all of us.
We visited all the major basilicas around Rome, viewing spectacular chapels, artwork, statuary, altars, tombs…we were simply dumbstruck and stumbling around bleary-eyed before we were able to have lunch.
The only comparison I can give - and that still doesn't really do this justice - is something like the feeling that you have if you have toured the Science and Industry Museum in Chicago for the first time – so many things assaulting your senses at once, we just can’t take it in!
We were able to go to another delightful restaurant for lunch with their traditional courses of pastas and meat, then a really smooth and lovely cheesecake with tiny chocolate chips on top.
We chose to “ditch the group” and just wander through Roma along the sidestreets to see all the tiny shops.
The city is still brimming with pilgrims – we enjoy listening to the shop owners trying to yell greeting to people in different languages, to attract business, all with thick Italian accents…pretty funny when they’re attempting German, English, Polish, Japanese, etc.!
The shopping can be so intense in some shops that they will not let you inside – they’ll ask you to choose something from the outside – then they run in and get it for you.
If you want to observe the jet-set crowd, there is a street by the Spanish steps that has every single high-end brand name store that you could imagine. Sunglasses for over $300 anyone??!!