Monday, July 20, 2009

2008 Winter in Rome Day 7

13th Dec

St Paul outside the Walls

Back in Rome, skies cleared up after days of rain and the Tiber has subsided somewhat . A barge was still trapped under Ponte Sant Angelo and trash stuck on branches of trees indicating the last highest water level .

St Paul outside the Walls

The destination of the day was St Paul Outside-the-Wall. San Paolo Basilica ,reachable by Metro, was a short walk from the Metro station. It has an extensive fa├žade and an equally impressive interior. Paintings on the walls depict Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus and his subsequent trip to Rome.

St Paul's chains

We saw the brick end of his sarcophagus and his prison chains, stirring great emotions. A pilgrim group made a grand procession into the church just when we were about to leave. Resonant guitar music and singing pulled us back and we hovered around to see a mini service of dedication and prayer, causing lumps to well up in our chest.

We left at noon and had great gelato outside the Metro station for a steal at €1.50 ( 2 generous gustis ). Near Barberini, it was pizza at Via della 4 Fontane’s Circo. The waitress hurried us along and soon we hit the streets. Someone approached us to support an anti-drug campaign and would not let us go until we part with €5.

We checked out fountain pens at Pantheon Cartoleria and a Made -in -Italy pewter fountain pen became mine for €47. I would have rejoiced at this great bargain if I had not discovered that it was probably not entirely new because of residual red ink still left in the cartridge.

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