We’ve arrived in Rome.

I’m traveling with my mother today through Tuesday morning, May 1st. We were here together in 2000, and it’s a gift to be here with her again a lifetime later.

We caught separate flights, her from Philadelphia and me from Newark with a layover in Charlotte, but both our flights arrived at a bit past 9am Rome time. Caught Trenitalia’s Leonardo Express from the airport to Termini, and then an Uber to Armony Suites where we’re staying until she heads out and my Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network-related work/pilgrimage starts. I found Armony Suites on Priceline. It’s a great hotel-style suite of rooms on the second floor of a sturdy old Roman building, roughly ten minutes north of Castel Sant’Angelo, ten minutes east of the Vatican, or ten minutes west of the Tiber by foot. Luca, its proprietor, is an excellent and gracious host.

We were checked in by noon, and after a brief nap to recharge we headed out in the late afternoon and walked over to Piazza del Popolo, had a meal nearby, and enjoyed a walk through Villa Borghese and taking in the sunset:

As it got toward 9pm, we walked over toward Piazza del Risorgimento for out 9-11pm reservation at the Vatican Museums, finishing with the Sistine Chapel. I had vague memories of touring these exhibitions 18 years ago, but this was a much more vivid experience if only for the addition of John Paul the Great-related artwork. Before we headed in, we stepped out onto the patio and took in this view:

IMG_8161

Afterwards we got a late-night gelato at Old Bridge Gelateria on the walk back through Piazza del Risorgimento, and called it a night. It’s very much springtime here, and we were fortunate to have a beautiful first day here.