13th June 2019
It’s time for us to farewell Rome after our three days here. We’ve done some sightseeing and seen and done a few things we weren’t able to do last time. It’s been very hot so we would get an early start, head out and see the sights, have lunch and then go back to our appartment and rest until things cooled down. I think we’ve got the siesta down pat. Then it was time to go out again for another wander around and find a place for dinner.
We’ve been back in St Peter’s Basilica and this time climbed up into the dome. It costs €8 each and it takes a mighty effort if you don’t take the lift. We walked to Rome from Florence so no lift for us. After climbing and going round and round enough to make you dizzy you come to a level that you can look down into the Basilica, it’s caged so it’s difficult to get photos. Then there is more climbing and no lift option up very steep stairs in a narrow sloping to one side corridor between the outer and inner shell of the dome or cupola. This finally brings you to the very top and you get the best possible view of the whole of Rome as this is the highest point. I have issues with heights but none of these viewing points were a problem as they were all surrounded by grills.
We went to the crypt or grotto where the remains of St Peter are. Many Popes have been laid to rest here too. It’s such a special place.
We also went into the treasury which has so many beautiful and interesting things, gold candelabras and various sacremental objects, robes and Papal hats. I can see that this might not appeal to some folk. That was all enough for one day and after our siesta we headed out for one last dinner with our mates Paul and Zbigniew. It was a fabulous night lots of food and wine and of course lots of laughs. It’s been a privilege getting to know these guys and it was a sad farewell. It’s always sad saying good bye to your Camino family.
Next day we found the Holy Stairs Santa Scala. These stairs were once in Jerusalem and were moved here (that’s the short story) . It is said that Christ ascended these stairs to be sentenced to crucifixion by Pontius Pilate. They have been encased in wood for over 300 years and recently restored to their original state. The staircase leads to the Sancta Sanctorum, the ancient private chapel of popes. The faithful climb these stairs on there knees saying a prayer on each stair. The stairs are quite worn dowm. There is another staircase one can climb on foot if it can’t be done on the knees. So we used that one as our knees aren’t up to the task at the moment. Using our little booklet with the prayers we slowly made our way up to the beautiful little chapel.
Then we headed across the road to the Basilica San Giovanni with it’s magnificent statues and mosaics on the ceiling.
We made our way for a quick whiz round the inside of the very impressive Vittorio Emmanuel building. Very interesting museum full of military history.
Hot and exhausted it was time to head back for a siesta before another lovely dinner in Trastevere.