Sunday, May 8, 2016

Serendipity in Rome

Everything feels bigger in Rome
My time in Rome has proved serendipitous as there seemed to be a moment of perfect timing each day. 
Our first taste of serendipity came with the weather. While we encountered rain, it always seemed to come at the exact right time. It poured and poured the entire time we walked inside the Vatican museum, but let up enough for us to travel over to the Pantheon. Once we were in the Pantheon, Andrea and I sat looking up at the Oculus. I looked at Andrea and said, "I bet this is incredible when it rains." We began hoping it would rain just enough for us to see the rain come down through the oculus. Sometimes your wishes come true. 
 A light misty sprinkle of rain poured into the Pantheon and kindly let up as we left. 
For Appian Way, the Colosseum, the Forum, and all other outdoor experiences, we had beautiful sunny weather. 

Walking into St. Peter's Basilica will knock the wind right out of you. 
If you don't collapse from having to wait in line forever to go through security, the sheer opulence and majesty of the Basilica will take your breath away. Honestly, I've never been somewhere so opulent. Surely, the Catholic church isn't hurting for money. We happened to make it into the Basilica a few hours before it closed. The sun rays were descending on the high altar and the Basilica was preparing for Mass. While they close off a large portion of the Basilica for Mass, if you just tell one of the guards you'd like to participate in the Mass, they will let you through the barriers and up to the beautiful throne of St. Peter. While I couldn't understand everything that was said during the service, I am relatively familiar enough with Catholic Mass to grasp the main parts. One part that I think is truly lovely is the "greeting" where the members of the congregation turn to the members seated around them and greet them with a smile, handshake, and a wish for God's peace to be with them. There was a lovely couple seated next to us that greeted us and those seated on the other side of them and proceeded to finally greet each other with a tender kiss. While I am grateful that the LDS church doesn't open temples and temple ceremonies to gawking tourists, I was happy to be part of mass at St. Peter's that day. 

Finally, I know that everyone believes they have found the best gelato in Rome, but I really think we might have it. It might also be the most expensive Gelato in Rome though... 
We began our Gelato tour with Gioletti's, a relatively famous gelateria which had a whole crowd inside waiting for gelato. I admit it was delicious, but still not as good as Don Nino. 
Don Nino is located near the Pantheon. We decided to go in because it was "aesthetically" the best looking Gelato shop we'd seen. Their signature flavor, Don Nino, is a mixture of Almond and Pistachio, and it is to die for. I had that with the Ricotta. Yum! We soon became good friends with the workers at Don Nino, who would tease us for our poor Italian and laugh with us as we teased back. While Don Nino, is honestly the best Gelato I had in Rome, the best Gelato I had for the cheapest price was on the Isle of Trebina. Trebinos had really delicious gelato for only 2 Euros! 

Tune in Next time for London Adventures!