Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Tomb of St. Paul

So it's been a few days since I updated and there's a lot to say. First off, classes started this week and I can tell that it is going to be a good semester. Studio is never bad so I expect that to go well, but for sketching and history, as Eric put it, "The city is your classroom." Our first sketching class went well, but I didn't get to finish my elevation, at least I have some time to go back and do so. Yesterday we took a tour of the 7 hills of Rome and it was absolutely incredible. We had a chance to go on the roof of the Il Vittoriano, where we had a view of the entire city of Rome and beyond.

After that we continued to walk, and made our way into some gorgeous churches. On the way home we stopped in a few more and each one was as incredible as the last. In fact, we've adopted a new rule, if a church is open we're going in.

Today was gonna be a relaxing day, I slept late and got some homework done, then a few of us decided to go to the Circo Massimo. That didn't happen. In fact, we walked in the complete opposite direction. We ended up walking about 3 miles or so south of the city center and on the way managed to find an incredibly cheap grocery store, a playground, some Italian political posters which are now hanging in our room, and the best for last, the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. It's named that because it is outside the walls of the city of Rome, but it contains the tomb of St. Paul, which is just the beginning of how incredible this church is. It is absolutely enormous, around the walls are portraits of each and every Pope, as well as numerous saints. The main attraction, of course, is the tomb of St, Paul. The marble front to the sarcophagus is exposed behind a small fence. Placed in front of it is a kneeler, where I took my opportunity to say a decade of the rosary in front of St. Paul. Slightly above the tomb, in a glass case, is a portion of the chain with which he was shackled.

It was absolutely incredible to be able to see that, and especially to offer a prayer in front of the tomb, hopefully I will be able to experience more things like this in the next four months!

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