Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rome 27.12.2013 (3): Quiet Churchyards and Jewish Christmas Meals

Santissimo Sacramento Oratory, Christmas Eve 2013


Day three, Christmas day: we walked to the liturgy of the American church of Saint Susanna, held this year in the church of St. Camillo de Lellis, because the Paulist church is closed.

Rome 27.12.2013 (2): Pantheon Solstice and Mussolini Lemons

Rainbow Christmas Lights, Via del Corso, 24 December 2013


Day two, Christmas eve, we took a long see-Rome-on-foot walk from our hotel, the Modigliani on Via della Purificazione near the Pantheon, to all sorts of places: the Pantheon, Trevi fountain, Piazza Navona and the four rivers fountain, Campo de Fiori, Piazza Colonna with its famous column, and more churches than one could shake a stick at.

Rome 27.12.2013: Double Kisses and Baroque Holy Water Stoups

St. Peter's, Tour Guide and Yours Truly, 23 December 2013


Waiting to get into the Borghese in Rome, I see a very nice-appearing man assisting an elderly woman down the steps. They've just toured the gallery. I think he's gay, and she's his mother.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Assisi 22.12.2013: Muted Colors and Umbrian Village Churches


Assisi in Mist, 21 December 2013


Sitting in Assisi (more precisely: Santa Maria degli Angeli) train station, awaiting our train to Rome. the mist persisted all the while we were in Assisi, making the place more magical--muting and hiding shops full of tawdry tourist tat, giving the birds singing atop trees a far-away, ghostly presence.

Assisi 21.12.2013: Pilgrim Tchotchkes and Francis in the Mist

Basilica of St. Francis, 21 December 2013


Francis, your name is again in vogue. It's in people's mouths with a pope who now has your name. Francis, they say, as if they know him. Or you. Francis, we say, as if we know you.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Assisi 20.12.13: Mystic Fog and Zebras Running Through Manger Scenes

Assisi Evening, 20 December 2013


In Assisi now. We arrived about 3 P.M. and took a taxi up the hill to Casa Papa Giovanni. Absolutely none of the malarkey here about shared rooms, the finger-wagging about two men and matrimony. The nice lay staff member who greeted us and showed us to our room asked if we wanted one room or two, and when we told her one, she showed us to a room with two single beds.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Florence 20.12.13: Little David and Distrait Mary

Fra Angelico Crucifixion, San Marco, 20 Dec. 2013


Sitting in the busy, noisy Santa Maria Novella station (which has one pitiful banquette for the entire galumphing place, a banquette on which my big posterior is barely perched). We're awaiting our 12:10 train to Assisi.