Just back from the Trevi fountain, Lemon and Mint ice cream for me, and a quick visit to the doors of my old university, the Gregorian run by the Jesuits, which is just up the road from there. looking very forbidding.
The fountain is looking very clean. Policeman sat there blowing his car horn at anyone who gets close. We did try to throw coins in from a distance. Some of us may not be coming back by the success rate of the throwing.
After Mass Anthony Coles and I had a long coffee and second breakfast, in my case, the weight is definitely not diminishing for all the walking, in the Borgo Pio, then off to the Vatican Museum. We had a wonderful guide called Christina from the southern states of the US who took us through the art work of the Sistine Chapel with digital help first and really explained a lot more than I had heard before about very well-known pictures that you all know (but cannot photograph in there). We then walked through via the Pineapple Courtyard, ancient marbles and Laocoon, down through the Tapestry Corridor, where they used perspective in such a way that the figures seem to follow you and seem to move as you pass, to the rooms of celebration of Constantine’s conversion, a massive picture of the announcement of the Immaculate Conception, and one of the Trinity and Eucharist, with three descending medallions of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and then the Eucharist. In the Raphael rooms The School of Athens and Raphael’s self-portrait, and then into the Sistine Chapel, where there were no crowds and you could work out what Christina had been telling us earlier at your leisure. By then we were ready for water, coffee and panini, outside in incredible heat.
In the bottom left picture, a small piece of the School of Athens, the man in the black hat is Raphael.
After a long bus ride on the 81 and a pit-stop at the hotel we caught our own bus to St. Paul’s outside the Walls. We prayed at the tomb of St. Paul after Anthony’s taking us round the church and then reflected on Peter and Paul’s own very different journeys and the fact that at the beginning of the day we were having Mass at the tomb of St. Peter and ending it a the tomb of St. Paul, which seemed just the right sort of thing to be doing on pilgrimage.
St. Paul’s outside the Walls.