Saturday, 14 March 2015

Christian Rome and the Catacombs

Back in 2005  we had wanted to do this tour but because there was not enough interest it wasn't offered so it was top of our list this time. We were picked up at the hotel and taken to the tour meeting point really very close to us by yet another fountain of Neptune  I think, and Septembre street.

The drive to the catacombs took about an hour and started with a church which then led down to the catacomb of St Domitilla. Of course they were first of all used as hiding places when the Christians were persecuted but then later became places of  Prayer and worship.
Symbols of Christianity ,the fish and the shepherd

It was then back on the bus  to visit the Papal church of St Giovanni, founded by Emperor Constantine in the 4 th century It was decorated with large Roman statues down each side of the aisle  St Peter on one side and St Paul on the other.All the floors of the Papal churches are the same tiled marble design. across the road from the church were the Holy Stairs which you could advance up on your knees. They were supposedly the stairs  that Christ is said to have climbed to his trial before Pontius Pilate.

Then it was on to the bus again to visit the St Maria Majour Basilica a very much more baroque church with alot of adornment. I liked the picture of the last supper the best high above one of the side chapels. I really thought it was a very good tour but I think Bob felt the tour of the Catacombs was rather superficial
St Maria Majour Basilica

Monday, 16 February 2015

A long Drive and Good bye Italy

Next day from Florence we drove along way, to leave Italy via Lugano which we had visited before,
a fairly nonescript town of rich people living by the side of the lake. We did get a chance to stroll through the sculptures on the lakeside promenade and left Italy through the St Gotthard tunnel descending towards Lake Lucerne. This was perhaps the least interesting day of our tour, it was rather long and not helped by a traffic jam.I had not seen the Trevi fountain to  throw in a coin but I certainly hoped this would not be my last holiday in Italy