Saying Goodbye to Rome

Tomorrow is our last full day in Rome. We have packed a lot into the last week. As the days remaining grew fewer, I felt an urgency of seeing and savoring every piece of Rome, while also resigning myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to see everything. There will be more time, someday.

Last Sunday we spent cleaning and packing in the apartment, but by late afternoon, I was done and since it was Coriander and Mason’s last evening in Rome (at least for this time) I started an expedition to the Pantheon. Although it was closed, we visited the surrounding area, Piazza Navona, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva we had cappuccino and a nice dinner and generally enjoyed strolling Rome. They were off to the airport in the morning.

Monday we moved to a new place. It was quite a chore between the annoying taxi driver and our many heavy bags. But our new landlord made up for it. He was such a sweetheart and helped us bring all the bags to the new place. It’s much smaller than our last place, but it’s only for a week and there’s not a lot of homework or artwork to be done.
St Peter's square from above

This last week, we’ve been mostly being tourists. We climbed to the top of the Vatican and were not disappointed in the view. We also spent a day wandering Trastevere looking at churches, finding that music instrument maker I met earlier in the semester and getting a new overpressure plug for Pat’s pressure cooker.
Saint Agnes in Crypt Chapel

Pat and I visited many different churches in search of some obscure relics and seeing old churches including the Scala Sanctum at St John Lateran, Santi Quattro Coronari and Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, the mother load of Catholic relics including the doubting finger of St Thomas. We never did find the Holy Umbilical cord, though. It appears to have “disappeared,” along with the Holy Prepuce.
Scala Sanctum (Holy Stairs)

Gwen finished her Archeology final Thursday afternoon and is now done at John Cabot. All three of us went together to Mamertine Prison near the Forum and the Villa Farnesina in Trastevere.
Villa Farnesina Fresco

On the way back, Gwen’s phone was stolen by literally a band of gypsies. There were five of them dressed as college students who surrounded and blocked her as a group so she couldn’t move as she stepped onto the metro, they opened her bag and took her phone and jumped off as the doors closed. It was upsetting, but we met several very nice people through the incident, including the policeman where we filed a report. Fortunately she had been prepared for this since leaving the states, no data was lost because it was backed up to iCloud, she was able to remotely erase the entire hard drive remotely and it was insured.

Our last outing out of Rome was a day trip out to Ostia Antica. Gwen has been here twice this semester, but even so, she enjoyed showing the site to Pat and I. It was a lovely relief from crowded Rome with shady umbrella pines, perfumed breezes and the ruins of an ancient Roman port town.
Pat and the mystery tree

Tomorrow our plans are very flexible. Final packing, lunch at a sushi bar we found last week, perhaps some last gelato near the Pantheon and hopefully an evening stroll across the Tiber. Our flight leaves on Monday and we’ll be back in the states for dinner, but probably jet lagged.

Thank you to everyone who has been patient enough to read my Roman ramblings. You kept me writing these each week and I know years from now, I’ll be very glad that I spent the time and energy to document this amazing experience.

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