Rome is a “must see” city but the crowds were unbelievable. We began our day with a trip to the Colosseum and Forum, then went to the Church of St. Peter in Chains nearby. Inside this church is the marble statue of Moses by Michaelangelo. It rivals the David in its beauty and Michaelangelo had to be forced to quit working on it he was so obsessed. Also in this church are a set of chains purported to be the ones used to bind St. Peter. Although this is questionable the church is beautiful and worth seeing.

Our next stop was the Catacombs where many Christians were buried and where secret church services were held during persecutions.

Our final stop of the day was at Trevi Fountain where we had some free time. We used it to revisit the Pantheon and walk down the streets of Rome.

The next morning we visited the Vatican where after hours of lines we viewed the Sistine Chapel. We moved on to St. Peter’s Basilica where the crowds were so distracting it was difficult to appreciate the beauty. We did appreciate having been there a few years earlier when the crowds were smaller.

After lunch near the Vatican we went to the Church of St. Paul Outside the Wall. That church was beautiful and not crowded. Inside mosaic pictures of every Pope line the upper walls of the church. Even the most recent Pope, Benedict, is already represented here.

We next drove to the Church of San Giovanni which we had also seen before but enjoyed the second visit. This church was formerly the church where the Pope said Mass and he still does on occasion.

After leaving Rome we proceeded on to Assisi.

Celia Bell 2012