Tag Archives: Italy


Rome – Some Scenes from the Street

Well, we’ve visited many of the true wonders in Rome.  Now, we’ll visit some of the other places I passed by along the way.   Trevi Fountain In 1629 Pope Urban VIII asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch possible renovations to an earlier fountain, but the project was abandoned when the pope died. Though Bernini’s project was never constructed, there are many Bernini touches in […]

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Rome – Three Other Beautiful Churches

We visited other churches in Rome that may not be as well know as the major basilicas, but are absolutely beautiful.  In this post, I’ll show three of those; Santo Spirito in Sassia, Chiesa di Sant’ Ignazio di Loyola, and Chiesa di San Marcello al Corso. Santo Spirito in Sassia The church stands on the site of a charitable institution for pilgrims (like us) and today is […]

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Rome – The Pantheon

The Pantheon from the Greek word Pantheion, (“pan” meaning “all” and “theion” meaning “of or sacred to a god”, thus meaning “[temple] of every god”) is a former Roman temple, now a Catholic church on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and […]

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Rome – Santa Maria sopra Minerva

The church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva is just behind the Pantheon.  Its most distinguishing feature from the outside is a statue of an elephant with an obelisk on its back.  More on that later.  However, this church contains the remains of Saint Catherine of Siena.  Recall from our trip to Siena that St. Catherine’s head is on display in Basilica Cateriniana San Domenico while her […]

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Rome – Basilica San Paolo fuori le Mura

Here we are at the 4th and last of the major basilicas in Rome, Basilica San Paolo fuori le Mura, or The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall.  This was our third basilica of the day, it was getting late (after dark), and we were all getting tired. However tired we were, the sight of this basilica revived us all.  This is my favorite of […]

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Rome – Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome and it is because of its size that it receives the title “major”.  The earliest building on the site was the Liberian Basilica or Santa Maria Liberiana, after Pope Liberius (352–366). This name may have originated from the legend which recounts that Pope Liberius was told in […]

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Rome – Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

After our general audience with Pope Francis, we were just getting started.  We had a very full afternoon and evening ahead.  Next stop, Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (The Basilica of Saint John Lateran).   There are four major basilicas in Rome; Saint Peter’s, Saint John Lateran, Saint Mary Major, and Saint Paul Outside the Wall.  Although Saint Peter’s is usually thought of as […]

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Vatican City – Audience with Pope Francis

We woke up early Wednesday morning (about 5:30) so we could get to St. Peter’s Piazza for the General Audience with Pope Francis.  After a quick breakfast, we headed out into the cool, sunny morning.  It was a great day to wait for the pope. We approached the colonnade at the edge of the piazza, the lines were already forming.  We had to get through […]

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Rome – Evening Scenes

The evenings came early in Rome in November, long before time for dinner.  On our first evening in Rome, I stepped out of the hotel, walked 2 blocks, and had this view of St. Peter’s. I also found this stained glass window, but unfortunately, don’t remember where it was other than near St. Peter’s. Our second evening, we stepped out onto the street and saw […]

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Rome – Santa Maria in Traspontina

We were able to celebrate mass at Santa Maria in Traspontina, just a block away from our hotel, and only about 4 blocks from Vatican City.  I was certainly not expecting a local parish church to be as beautiful at this. There is an interesting history of this site.  Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) demolished an ancient Roman pyramid on this same site (the Meta Romuli, […]

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