FAT. I am getting fat in Rome.
You would think all this walking would somehow cancel out the daily pizza and gelato, but apparently it doesn’t work that way. Alas, I am resolved to eat gelato every day while I’m in Italy, and not have the same flavor twice. I missed one day, but I did eat some in Greece, so I’m going to count that. My favorite thing about gelato is that you can get more than one flavor, even in a small cup, so you can really play with the flavors. So far I’ve tried:
Kinder (a European line of chocolate candies)
“Opera Italiana” (not sure what that was, but I wasn’t crazy about it)
Tomorrow I’m hoping to get Caramel, Caffe, and/or Chocolate. I also have it on my list to eat some Straciatella, which I think is just chocolate chip, but it sounds more exciting in Italian.
We are working hard to get in all the essential Roman experiences! Our schedule has been much more flexible than it was in Macedonia, but every bit as busy. There are plenty of ancient and free sights here and I love them all -- the Forum and the Colosseum are conveniently around the corner from our apartment. I was especially impressed with the Pantheon. Let’s not forget Rome’s original Gelato shop, which did cost me 3.50 Euros for a medium cone... worth every penny.
Churches are everywhere, and each one has some claim to fame, like “St. Peter in Chains” which has (supposedly) Peter’s chains on display. Tonight we walked into mass at a church on the piazza at the north entrance to the city, and much to our surprise they were singing “Shout to the Lord” with guitars and a tambourine! The last thing I expected was to see elderly women and middle-aged men with their hands raised and singing along. I’m not Catholic, but I really loved taking a moment to worship with modern instruments and songs in such a very old and “sacred” building. Jesus said Himself that the true worshipers are not concerned with which mountain to worship on, but will worship in Spirit and truth; still, being in these historic Catholic churches (and even the Orthodox, although they are a bit different) just makes me want to worship because they are treated as holy places. Although I am aware of my bias toward all things old, I’m afraid sometimes we cheapen our time of communion with God by making it too casual. Please, let us not forget what we are really about in the name of being “contemporary” and “relevant.” Worship does not have to be stale in order to be sacred.
So, history and food and mile after mile of cobblestones. That’s just a little taste of what I’ve been up to in Roma!