Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Roman Blog

It was Sheila's idea, "I'd love a trip to Rome." she said. So it had to be - I didn't need to be persuaded. A no frills Easy Jet flight from East Midlands Airport got us installed in the Hotel Bled by 12.00 on the day of departure, leaving the rest of the day to explore. In Rome you are immediately made aware of how a civilised society planned and built the city when northern Europe was barbarian. The old aqueducts which once carried water into the city are everywhere and only breached by the main through routes. It was time for an exploration to get our bearings.

A ten minute walk along a busy road assailed by the deafening sound of city traffic brought the imposing facade of St. John Lateran into view. The figure of Christ holding the Cross of Redemption holds the central position on the parapet. St. John Lateran is Christendom's earliest basilica dedicated by Constantine to Jesus the Saviour. The interior is a delight - Italian churches are well lit compared with the dark cathedrals of Northern Europe and they make good decorative use of local stone and marble. This Church is a bit special - the adjacent Lateran Palace was the home of the Popes until they were forced into exile to Avignon.

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