Friday, January 05, 2007

Buon giorno!

I have just returned from Rome and am having a difficult time finding words for what I saw and experienced. The thought that such mortals created such works of beauty and genius astounds me. When I found out Michelangelo, Raphael and Bramante worked at the same time just steps away from each other, I thought my mind was going to explode. To have such genius in this world at the same time, let alone in the same place at the same time, was almost too much for me to comprehend.

As our guides, Franca and Ambra, explained the richness of what we were seeing, I stared, usually straight over my head. The ceilings alone are amazing. I could have done a photographic study on the ceilings alone. The beauty and richness that is the Vatican was experienced several times as my choir sang a mass in a side chapel and chanted the Papal Mass on New Year’s Day. I gave up trying to understand when the priest gave the homily in Italian, and, once more, cocked my head back and drank in all the beauty.

My evenings were spent sampling gelato and cappuccino from the nearby cafes. Even the smallest hole-in-the-wall proved to have excellent snacks and coffee. I wouldn’t recommend the hotel restaurant, but the tiny cafĂ© down the street made the best ravioli, well worth the search. And New Year’s Eve when my roommate and I watched Rome explode with fireworks will not be soon forgotten.

I now know why Rome is called the eternal city. Its beauty has and will live on throughout eternity as the whispers of artists float through the streets where greatness once walked.

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