I am sitting in the peaceful serene garden at the convent where I am staying, and it is a welcome scene after spending the day yesterday walking all over Rome and the Vatican. Everything is blooming and I can smell the gardenias. The sounds of the birds chirping are very calming, even though I hear background sounds of the traffic on the busy via Settembre XX. It is a great place to write.
This morning after a great night’s sleep, I left and walked to the Spanish Steps and had an opportunity to shoot some great photos with less people around at that time of day. I stopped at Caffè Greco, which has been in existence for 250 years, and had my first cannoli since I arrived in Italy. Of course it was delicious, but I took it to go because there was an additional 10 euro charge to eat it there.
I walked to the Vatican and noticed all the carrabinieri and media setting up for Sunday’s beatification of John Paul II. Piazza San Pietro was crowded as expected but it was nothing compared to what it will be this Sunday, and supposedly starting Saturday night. I am actually rethinking going there, and instead being part of the crowd watching the event on one of the big screens around the city.
I went to the Vatican gift shop and purchased two items I had promised to buy for some coworkers. Afterwards I walked to Campo de’ Fiori and amazingly found the little bar where I had gone four years ago with my brother and sister-in-law. It was in this place that I had had the best biscotti ever, and have never found it since. The same signora was there, and when I showed her a photo I had taken of her four years previously, she was amazed too! The place looked exactly the same, and the same kind of biscotti were sitting in the same spot in the case. We had a conversation in Italian and I bought some biscotti and took another photo, giving her the one I had from four years ago.
Afterwards I stopped in at Forno Campo de’ Fiori and watched them making the bread and pizza. I walked to Piazza Navona, where I took a little rest and listened to some live music before I headed toward via Settembre XX. On the way I stopped in at an internet cafe and it was actually good to get off my feet. After five hours of walking Rome’s cobblestoned streets, my feet were in need of a break.
After returning to the convent I spent some time conversing with Sorella Emma, and she
corrected my Italian, so I am continuing my Italian lessons as I go. I shared with her some of my photos from my trip and she seemed to enjoy seeing all the places I have visited. She is very nice and will be busy tomorrow as many more visitors are arriving. Up until this afternoon I think I was the only one here.