Rome Sabbatical – Day 11

This tiny kithcen table also functions as my reading and writing desk (as well as a place to sip espresso)

This tiny kithcen table also functions as my reading and writing desk (as well as a place to sip espresso)

It has been another interesting day in the Eternal City. Besides what has now become the routine of making a morning walk for coffee and a pastry, I spent much of the morning reading and getting prepared for the afternoon at the Borghese Gallery. There are two books I have used on a daily basis in regards to my travels around Rome: Eyewitness Travel: Rome, and Rick Steve’s Rome 2010.

A stirring sculpture at the entrance of Fosse Ardeatine

A stirring sculpture at the entrance of Fosse Ardeatine

After reading and mapping our route for the day, I took a solo walk just around the block to visit moving memorial from World War 2. The “Fosse Ardeatine” remembers 334 Italian POWs who were summarily executed at this quarry in 1944. The victims included various political prisoners, 73 Jews and ten other civilians, among them a priest and a 14 year old boy. The husband of Dr. Karen Aubrey, Phil D’Ambrogi, has a distant cousin who was one of the victims. He was able to go and visit the memorial as well as locate the marker remembering that terrible event. Not too many days ago in America Memorial Day was observed and in some ways this was my own way of remembering the many people around the world that made sacrifices on behalf of the ideals of democracy.

A memorialized "tomb" of one of the resisters to Nazi occupation

A memorialized "tomb" of one of the resisters to Nazi occupation

We boarded our bus with a few sandwiches packed to eat at the first piazza we crossed. After swallowing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we made the one or so hour walk to the beautiful Borghese gardens en route to the Gallery. Honestly, how can I write in a blog my thoughts on the Borghese? The Gallery is a villa surrounded by welcome gardens. It was a place of luxury but with a keen eye for patronizing the arts. The sculptures, mosaics and paintings were as beautiful as those we have seen throughout Rome. What a neighborhood of art! Some are displaying technical skills and some are telling powerful stories and all are encouraging experiences. I am real impressed with the students of Augusta State University. Many of them are fully engaged with the works exhibited, make thoughtful observations, and listen attentively.

dsc024251

<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:EN-US; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:36.0pt 36.0pt 36.0pt 36.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>


I have been thinking a bit about what do I mean when I say this sabbatical is to help me understand how the local church can recover sacred art? Have we lost it or is it that we just do not know how to see it, appreciate it or consider it essential to our overall? I am still not sure. I know that our stain glass in the sanctuary, for example, tells wonderful and important stories in scenes and in color. Certainly its purpose is more than just for decoration.

Oh well, I can see that you are starting to nod off so I will change subjects…

They are smiling because of all of the culture we have shared - and the hamburgers

They are smiling because of all of the culture we have shared - and the hamburgers

Following our afternoon at the Borghese we ate our most expensive meal thus far in Rome – The Hard Rock Café Roma. Yes, it is the Hard Rock you know. After nearly two weeks of antipasti, pasta, pizza and gelato we were starting to crave burgers and fries. I believe this was honestly the highlight of Aaron’s Rome experience. Seriously, we all enjoyed it and before we left we noticed a table full of some of the students nearby.

dsc02433

We waddled our way back to the bus stop, full of protein and trans-fat but very satisfied. On the way to the bus, however, we came upon a protest rally by local Palestinians living or visiting in Rome. While I am a bit behind on the news, I am to understand it was protesting Israel’s attack on the flotilla outside of the Gaza Strip. While it was apparently very peaceful the intersections were choked with police, military police, and riot police. It was an interesting sight.dsc02437

dsc02434dsc02435

Tomorrow is a Saturday and Michael Schwartz has more planned for us. I feel as though I have seen this entire city from every angle and yet I know there is so much yet to see. The time is slipping by oh so quickly.

Blessings and peace,

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.