So we began our last full day in Rome by having breakfast with Jono. I had my first chocolate-filled cornetto, which depressed me a little bit, since I clearly should have been having this every morning. I also love the light fruit juices that they have in the bars. We walked off the breakfast with a trip to Palatine Hill, which offers beautiful views over the city, the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.
Then we went to Crypta Balbi, a museum that had been listed in a tour guide book as a great place to go to escape the crowd. Why there isn’t a crowd there is beyond me (other than the fact that it isn’t very well marked). The museum is basically an enclosed archaeological dig showcasing how the layers of Rome have been built over each other through the centuries. You can see where the ancient wagon wheels created ruts in ancient roads and how a theater and houses were built on top of that.
We stopped at the Church of the Gesù so that Jono could pray, but it was a great stop for that, allowing us to see a beautiful church with an amazing ceiling featuring the Triumph of the Name of Jesus.
We had lunch at the same place we had the first day in Rome, having some more excellent pizza, and then went back to our hotel to start packing. Our last night in Rome concluded with a Mass closing out the ordination week. It was beautiful even though the newly ordained deacon who gave the sermon was a bit long. He gave what could have been three good sermons….
Dinner was back at Sor’eva where I had a phenomenal shrimp risotto with lots of Parmesan cheese, and then we retired back to the NAC for drinks and Cuban cigars on the rooftop. It had rained a bit earlier in the day, and while the rain had cleared out over Rome, there was still lightning in the clouds around the city. We sat there overlooking the lit city of Rome and lightning all around us, drinking our wine and prosesco and smoking our cigars. It was the perfect ending to a perfect week in Rome.
We went to bed, reluctantly knowing that it was our last night in Rome. We awoke the next day to a light rain, providing a sadly romantic ending to the Rome leg of our trip. Unbelievably we still had a whole other city to go!!