Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Do as the Romans do

So I got back from an extended weekend in Rome late last night. It was a wonderful, if exhausting trip. I know, I shouldn't complain. The trip was fraught with adventure (preceded by mishaps) beginning with getting stuck in Frankfurt. We tried to leave, really we did, but it seemed as though the world were conspiring against us! Magnus and Sandra had major traffic issues on the way to Frankfurt and I had the not-so-brilliant idea of meeting them at the airport. As it turned out it would have been faster for them to come all the way into Ffm and pick me up. Then there was a huge traffic jam outside of Mainz. After much deliberation and a few phone calls to the Hahn Airport we aborted our trip and thus missed our flight to Rome! We turned around and went back to my apartment to reconnoitre. The "fastest" and cheapest option was to take a night train to Rome. 18 hours later we finally arrived.

The wedding day went off without a hitch (thank God!). The ceremony took place at a church right in the center of the city on the Piazza Venezia. A beautiful church with a wonderful acoustic. The organist was OK, not fabulous, but adequate. The groom got emotional during "Caro mio ben" and I had a hard time holding together myself! Nearly lost my place, but luckily no one else noticed! The reception was held at an old villa just outside of Rome, there was champagne and yummy hors d'oevres in the lovely garden. Unfortunately, it was a bit chilly. The 3 course dinner was in a pavillion and a lavish dessert and dancing was outside again.

Sunday, was spent having brunch with the Pirates (who had converged on Rome from all over Europe for a reunion by way of the wedding) and walking around Rome. Sandra got to see the Piazza di Spagna for the 6th time this trip! I had a wonderful Granita di Caffè (iced coffee) with whipped cream at one of the most famous Cafes in Rome. We visited the Caravaggio painting of Jesus recruiting Matthew at the church of St. Louis of the French. Close by is the Pantheon, which is one of the most amazing pieces of ancient architecture. It's a place I try to see every time I go to Rome. We met Riccardo and Niki in Trastevere, went for a walk up the hill for a beautiful night-time view of Rome and had dinner in a popular Pizzeria. I know now why it's popular! Yum! Riccardo showed us the place where St. Peter was martyred, which is now the site of the first example of baroque architecture, a little chapel with a relic of St. Peter.

Monday the agenda was to go to the market at Campo de' Fiori for spices, look for yarn in the Jewish quarter (Sandra promised to knit me a bolero with black Angora), and go to the Vatican. We didn't find the yarn, unfortunately, not the season... But we got lots of spices, mmmh. We met Magnus' boss Antonio for lunch near the Campo de' Fiori and he gave us a ride to the Vatican. Once through the metal detectors and in the church of St. Peter we admired the PietĂ , by Michelangelo, which is one of the most powerfully beautiful sculptures I have ever seen. Another place I go to repeatedly. We went down into the crypt to St. Peter's sepulchre and saw the tombs of many Popes including Pope John Paul I. We met some friends outside and walked around some more. We stopped at Magnus' favorite bakery and bought enough food to feed an army. It was meant for M, Sandra and I for the trip home that night.

We got back to Ffm very, very late last night and M and S returned to Karlsruhe this morning...
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