Saturday, March 08, 2008

Vatican Gardens and the Catacombs

If you're coming to Rome, after the Scavi, I'd suggest that the Vatican garden tours are an absolute must. One gets to see a very different side of the Vatican, and wander about the city-state, seemingly with impunity! The weather turned perfect today ... upper 50s, and gorgeous blue skies. I hope the rains stay away for a bit. It's been rather unseasonably cold in Rome this past week, and rather wet.

After a fantastic lunch at Roberto's in the Borgo, we went to the Via Appia Antica, to visit the catacombs. It was a bit late by the time we got there, a few clouds had appeared and it looked like rain. I saw a sign for bike rentals. So we hopped on bicycles and rode down this beautiful stretch of this ancient road, past Roman ruins, to the catacombs at the church of S. Sebastian. Here's a few photos.

The dome of St. Peter's from the gardens.

That rare license tag, SCV. Santa Città Vaticana.

The Vatican train station.

The Circus of Maxentius, V. Appia

Sculpture of Our Lord, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the last he worked on at the age of 81, in the church of S. Sebastian.

And the catacombs? As always, I find this to be a very powerful and moving experience, a sense of connection, communion even, with those faithful from the youth of the Church which is very energizing.

Biking on the Via Appia? Priceless!

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