Monday, April 18, 2011

stewballs of weal

Can you indulge me one final post about Italy? Believe me, I understand if it's annoying. I often find myself annoying, so it doesn't pack as big a wallop for me when I behave as such. Poor you, though. Sorry.

Anyway, Italy! Where was I?

First I went to Reggio Emilia, then traveled to Rome to meet mom for more joy than two wild and crazy guys american girls should be allowed to have.

After we left our pretty pink dinner on the day of the feast of St. Joseph, mom and I strolled back to our hotel and passed through the Piazza Dello Rotonda. And lo, we heard the voices of an angel choir!

Well, maybe not specifically angelic, but they were awfully good and from Butler University and giving a little impromptu concert right there in our midst. 

We also stopped in to their official concert the next night

Sunday was our Last Day, which meant that everything we did had special meaning and was packed full of nostalgia for this trip even while we were still on it.  

We went to mass... in the Pantheon. That was kinda cool. The priest was aprox. 876 years old and was clearly of some importance judging from the height of his jaunty lid and the fuss made by his minions. We weren't allowed to take photos during mass, but here is one of those minions preparing for the service. 

Mom  referred to him as the altar boy
After mass,  I took a little time to walk around and explore the wonder of that wacky rotunda. My favorite thing was Raphael's tomb. Our guide book referred to Rafi as "the darling" of the Italian Renaissance:

translation: "Here lies Raphael, by whom nature feared to be outdone while he lived, and when he died, feared that she herself would die"

That Pantheon is kinda cool inside

Outside, too.

Mom's tour book, which she had borrowed from her friend Meg, had a sidebar with a suggested morning stroll itinerary that started at the Pantheon. We were at the Pantheon, it was morning, why not?

We followed the route with Meg's voice as our guide, she told us just where to go. First it said to look for the elephant obelisk. Mom and I wondered: "the what?"

Ohhh, THAT elephant obelisk

This was the landmark to find the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, one of  Rome's myriad unbelievable basilicas. There are just too many churches to try and see them all, but we knew this one had something special: 

No glass, no guards, just gleaming white marble carved by majestic hands

After a priest came and unceremoniously shooed us out of there for lunch hours, we continued along Meg's path to our next destination.  She warned us not to miss the ginormous foot we'd see on our right.

Again: "huh?"

Ohhhh, THAT foot.
And then we spent a lovely couple of hours in this lovely place, which we'd walked past at least 50 times and vaguely wondered what it was all about. Turns out it was a really cool palace museum that housed a stunningly impressive private art collection

Doria Pamphilj Gallery
 Back on the streets, there was lots of activity

Which we enjoyed before hitting the next stop on our "must see" tour, San Pietro in Vincoli

We checked out the chains, natch 
 And look, more from my man Mikey:

Moses, Michelangelo, 1515

What else did we do that day? Cappucino, vino, birra, gelato, victor, marathon cheering, scarf haggling, stairs, laughs, pasta, packing, fountains, shops, walking, photos, goodbyeing.....

And then one last, luscious dinner at the same place we'd so enjoyed our first Roman dinner, Taverna Antonina

Where we enjoyed a plethora of gorgeous beverages while perusing the  menu, which had thoughtfully been translated to the Queen's english

Mom and I double-dog-dared each other to order Stewballs of Weal, but wisely opted for other selections

Mama mia, that ravioli

Then we had no choice but to take ourselves home and bid arrivaderci to our lovely Rome, leaning out the window for a lingering last glance at the bellissima piazza

and our perfect Roman holiday.

Mi manchi, mamma. Ti amo.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, I want it never to end! I have loved every moment of your Roman lovefest.

I love that Elephant (Efelant!) and that gigantic foot and your man Mikey, and mostly Raphael's epitaph:

Here lies Raphael, by whom nature feared to be outdone while he lived, and when he died, feared that she herself would die.

I would like to use that as my own epitaph, please.

Love, love, love.


Mom C said...

You brought it all back so beautifully Jacquie, like Ellie I enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you. I'm now enjoying a visit with another daughter, the lovely Julie, in Asheville - how lucky am I. Te adore... (or something like that) mom

Mykle said...

OH, I think the stewballs of weal sounds great!

Seriously wish I could have popped over to say hi while you were there. Someday!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, Jacquie, I just love it all. I want to be there, right now! I'm sure you would not mind a repeat trip yourself...

Your man Mikey sure was talented. Wouldn't it be such a treat to live in a city that had that caliber art everywhere? Sigh.

Not to mention the food?

Thanks for sharing it all with us!!


(And sorry to be so late with my comment, if you can even believe it, I had to duck out of work early yesterday for yet another hour long stint in the dentist chair!:)