Monday, April 20, 2009

Day Five: Tuesday

We’d planned to head to the Gesu in the morning, but ended up taking another wrong turn and walked over a mile in the wrong direction. We’re cool like that. Our legs and feet were really unhappy with us. As I mentioned before, Stu could not resist ducking into every church we passed, so we did get a chance to check out two such gems on our “detour”.

The Sant’Andrea Della Valle, which was pretty amazing. Though I’m no Opera connoisseur, people who happen to be may recognize this church as the setting of the first act of Puccini’s Tosca. The façade is in pure Baroque style and the inside is just as beautiful. It also has the largest dome in Rome outside of St. Peter’s. Two Popes are buried here, one of which is depicted in a clear glass case as a man laying there. Freaky.

The other church we went into on our way back toward the Gesu was called San Lorenzo in Damaso. This one felt a little more eerie. It was much different than a lot of the churches we’d been in which were either light and uplifting feeling, or sullen and morose. This one was downright creepy and cryptic. A notable thing about this church was that is housed the libraries for the first papal archives.

See what I mean? Freaky!

We also wandered by the Area Sacra where the remains of four temples were found in the 1920s and are among the oldest in Rome. They are believed to be from the third century B.C.

We did finally make it to the Gesu and it was definitely worth all the hassle and detours. Kaden fell asleep right before we arrived so Mommy actually got a chance to really appreciate the details. We sat in a pew for a long time taking it all in which also gave Kaden a quiet place to rest while we took advantage of feet resting time.

The Gesu itself is the first Jesuit church to be built in Rome. It was designed during the Counter-Reformation Baroque period (I was thankful for the millionth time that I took that Art History class and I could actually appreciate what those words meant) and it epitomizes the typical Catholic architecture that has been imitated all over the world.

Reading to Stu about everything with my handy-dandy guide book.

This is San Roberto Bellarmino, by Bernini

We stopped by the grocery store on the way back to pick up some diapers (we were down to ONE!) and “fixin’s” for sandwiches for lunch. It was a much busier (and more on our feet) morning than either of us had planned.

In the afternoon we headed out to get some gelato (told you we couldn’t stop!) and then walked back down to the Capitol area. I wanted to get some more pictures of the Coronada (Michelangelo). Kaden had a great time playing in the rocks and giving Daddy all of the “eews” in the rocks (i.e. pine needles). We sat up there with the views of the city for a while, as we quickly learned the value of ANY time to rest the old feet. Then we headed back down the back side of the Capitol area by the forum once again.

This church is Santa Maria in Aracoeli. Popular belief has it that by climbing these steps on your knees you can win the Italian lottery.

The Corondata (Michelangelo), oriented the Capitol to the west.

We stumbled into yet another church: Chiesa S. Spirito in Sassia. It was much smaller than a lot of the churches here (especially when compared to the ones we’ve seen today) but I liked it a lot anyway. It was almost endearing. You know, I’m never going to be able to walk into another church in America again, with mere stained glass windows, and feel moved.

This church was on the modest side on the Roman Church Scale, but it had frescos and intricate sculptures nonetheless. Then we headed back to the hotel room to relax before dinner.

Side Note: Upon arriving here, we taught Kaden to say “Ciao” in greeting to people and has since been winning the hearts of all his Italian admirers throughout the city with his little voice, “Ciao!”

We had another absolutely fabulous dinner at our trattoria. Fabrizio served us Bruschetta , “a gift” he called it. It was so fantastic. Perfect crusty bread that was baked in a fire oven, superb olive oil, and vine-fresh tomatoes created pure bliss for the palate. Olive Garden has nothing on this place. We had our two favorite dishes again and finished our wine while Kaden colored and the sun set. Then we walked slowly back home as another amazing Italian day came to an end.


  1. Haha is Kaden playing air guitar in that photo?? How awesome. Everything you guys did and saw looks so incredible! I can't imagine getting to see all that. What a great opportunity!!! The photos all look great, by the way! Haha and 1700!! I know the feeling. :-)

  2. I'm so jealous of the awesome food. I really want to lose 50 lbs, travel to Italy, and gain it all back by eating my way through the country! BTW I just realized you have a New Moon countdown on your blog! You are SUCH A DORK! :)

  3. Kaden looks like he's saying, "Give me audience. I wish to entertain!!" What a riot...can't wait to see him perform for us! Love careful about posting "everything" know?