Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter! Feel so blessed to spend Easter in Rome. Our plan for today was to celebrate Easter mass, and sight see around some Roman churches as well as a few other tourist attractions on the way. Yesterday we had a taste of train commute, on this second day we took advantage of the hop on hop off bus which ticket had been included in Omnia card package. To be honest I prefer train, it takes less time to get around and it’s nice to blend in with the locals and have a taste of their day-to-day life.
Yesterday I said to D ( over and over again ) how wonderful the weather was. It was about 10-15 degree Celcius but it didn’t feel cold, a leather jacket was enough to keep me comfortable, and it was much much better than hot and humid weather. Well, I spoke too soon! The temperature dropped to 9 degree and it rained a lot, and it stayed like that for the whole day. I was freezing all day long!
In the morning we went to Termini to grab some breakfast. Coz we skipped dinner last night, we thought to get something really filling, so we went to McDonald’s but in the end I still went for the basics – croissant al ciocollato and latte e Nesquik ( hot chocolate ). We also stopped by a small supermarket to see what snacks they have. I love wandering around at a foreign supermarket, just taking in the unique products they have, for example chocolate corn flakes! In the end I only bought a bag of biscuits, coz I didn’t want to go overboard and we we were in a hurry.
We went back to the hotel to put our stuff then made our way to Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli dei Martiri to celebrate the Easter mass. The church looked very unassuming from the outside but once we got inside, I marveled at the grandeur of the interior. The mass was great, the pastor was funny and his sermon was really good and touched home.
It was raining even harder when we got out so not knowing what to do, we went for an early lunch. Then we boarded the hop on hop off bus, and went from church to church. Each was different and unique from the other, but all of them were so beautiful and exquisite. Words could hardly express how beautiful these churches were. The ceilings were practically sky-high and painted with such pretty and minute details, the altars and interiors were decorated beautifully. Suffice to say, they were nothing like other churches I’ve been to before.
Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano
Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano ( Archbasilica of St. John Lateran ) is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is one of the only four that hold the title of “major basilica”, the other three are the Basilicas of St. Peter’s Basilica, and St. Paul outside the Walls and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, it ranks above all other churches in the Catholic Church, including St. Peter’s Basilica. For that reason, unlike all other Catholic basilicas, it is titled Archbasilica. *source: wiki
The Pantheon ( from Greek meaning “every god” ) is a building in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier building commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. He retained Agrippa’s original inscription, which has confused its date of construction. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 metres (142 ft). Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs”. *source: wiki
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore ( Basilica of St. Mary Major ) is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy, from whence size it receives the appellation “major”. *source: wiki
Another place we visited was Piazza Navona, said to be the most beautiful among Rome’s countless squares. Piazza Navona is home to Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and a trio of fountains – the central and largest fountain is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi ( Fountain of the Four Rivers ). The fountain features four figures, each representing a river from a different continent – the Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata. The two other fountains on the piazza are the Fontana del Nettuno (Neptune fountain) and the Fontana del Moro (Moor fountain).
We also stopped by Trevi Fountain which unfortunately was undergoing a major restoration. Trust me, I had a major disappointment when I heard about it a few months before our departure. Nevertheless we still visited the site and walked on the platform over the fountain to have a look at the statues closely. And I enjoyed strolling about the area and found a bottle shop, where we bought a few mini bottles of flavored spirit, Chianti, and a really tasty sweet wine – La Morandina.
On the way home we stopped by Pastarito near Termini station for an early dinner. I ordered Prosciutto e Funghi pizza and D ordered Spaghetti al Fruti di Mare ( spaghetti with seafood sauce ). Both were awesomely delicious. The pizza was so simple yet really good, and the seafood portion was really generous. I of course didn’t try the spaghetti because of my allergy, but D claimed it was one of the best he’d had.