Rome Sabbatical – Day 4

Don't drink the water!

Don't drink the water!

The day began like all other days since arriving in Rome; gentle sunshine and mild temperatures. In fact, I do not think it has gone above the mid-70s in temperature. Since everyone else in our flat was asleep I decided to stretch my legs out a bit and of for a walk, which is kind of odd since that is all we have been doing this past week. I also was in search of a good cup of coffee. The apartment does not come with a coffee maker since the locals either make their own espresso or go out and buy a cup. At the last minute I bought about a dozen Starbucks instant coffee packets which Amy and I are trying to ration out.

After about a block I stopped at a small coffee shop and had a cappuccino along with a croissant fresh out of the oven – all for about $2.50! I sat at a table and attempted to read the sports section of an Italian newspaper. About all I can report is that two soccer teams played but I have no idea who won.

Speaking of soccer, we evidently have some neighbors that love soccer because they were up until midnight watching a game. They were loud and raucous and obviously having a good time. It was well after midnight before I drifted off to sleep.

Once everyone was up and email checked we darted for the bus. By now a gentle rain had started and we realized that while we packed rain gear, we brought none of it with us for the day’s events. Fortunately the rain never amounted to much, other than cooling things down a bit. Once we were in the city center we darted across four lanes of traffic which it seemed twenty lanes of cars were trying to squeeze through. We have discovered that traffic crossings and lights are merely suggestive. When in Rome, one plunges into the endless stream of cars, buses and scooters and hopes that a few of them will slow down enough to let you pass. This is not for the timid of heart.


We found a Pannini stand (which is certainly not hard to do in Rome) and bought prosciutto, ham and tuna sandwiches. On a curb outside of the Capitoline Museums in the drizzle we ate our warm sandwiches while waiting on the ASU class.

The Capitoline Museums are not exactly the center of sacred art inspiration, but they are museums not to be missed. The buildings are filled with sculptures from the Classical period. The pieces range from small to colossal. We were only there which was not nearly enough, but perhaps we can return before our time is up.

Two tickets to the gun show

Two tickets to the gun show

From the rear of the Capitoline is a marvelous view of the Forum, the center of the political, commercial and sacred life of ancient Rome. Columns still stand from the Temple of Saturn and the Temple of Vespasian. A section of cornice and its supporting columns remain from the Temple of Castor and Pollux. If it is clear tonight look to the sky and fine the constellation named Gemini. Its two “heads” are named after these Roman deities.


While Aaron may not want to admit it, he is becoming an “antiquity” snob, sniffing at anything less than 1000 years old! Seriously, it has been interesting to see what captures the boys interest and what bores them into listlessness.

We meandered through the city, bought some gelato and caught our bus to our apartment. Since we arrived back early than ever this week (about 6:30) we took advantage of the time and picked up a few things from one of the grocery stores that specialized in meats and pasta and fixed our own Italian dinner of asparagus and fussily and some strange but tasty sausage.

Head to head in the hall of Philosophers

Head to head in the hall of Philosophers

Tomorrow we (or maybe just me) will get a rather early start to tour some churches hidden away in Rome but adorned with great frescoes, paintings and sculptures. We plan to visit St. Peter’s square as well, since we will be using most of our time Monday in the Vatican Museum.

Bless you all and thank you for your continued prayers and support.



  1. Hey ya’ll,

    Great memories come back from when we were there in 2005. We flew in Saturday morning, and Pope John Paul died that night. Our hotel was 200 yards from the Vatican and we were “Pilgramaged” to say the least…we had to get out of there…too much humanity. Have a great time. Wish you could get to Roland Garros the tournament lasts through next weekend and I see lots of empty seats!


  2. Friday, 6/4/10; Good evening, Pastor! I can tell you are enjoying yourself-I can feel the excitement of your trip in your writings. And, you are really a good writer, may I say, as well. If only I had taken or learned a better paying job, I maybe, could have, would have, or just might have had the opportunity to travel there too. It is great experiencing it through your eyes just the same. Please continue to enjoy and stay safe.
    Best wishes for a safe trip back if I do not get a chance to log-on again before your return, and we miss you all.
    And, I am really enjoying the pictures, please take more if you can. Bye now,
    Love, Elizabeth

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