Friday, April 15, 2011

Rome, Italy

Friday April 15, 2011 3:05 PM (9:05 AM EDT)

Yesterday we docked early in the morning at the port at Civitavecchia,
the port city for Rome. It was cold (low fifties) and looked like rain
but later in the day became quite nice. After an early breakfast we took
an bus tour to the site of early Christian catacombs. Although there is
a legend that early Christians hid in the catacombs to avoid capture by
pagan Roman soldiers, such is just that - legend. The catacombs were
burial sites for Christians. The one that we visited was the Catacombe
Domitilla. There are additional ones in the same area south of Rome.
Unfortunately, no photos are allowed in the catacombs.

Following our visit to the catacombs we traveled further south, crossing
the ancient Appian Way, to Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence.
When I had always read of the Pope staying in Castel Gabdolfo in the
news I always picture it as high on a remote hill, secluded by itself.
As you can see from the enclosed photo, it is at the end of the street
in a small town.

From the Papal residence, we went to what used to be an old farm house
high in the hills. Today it is a restaurant, winery, pizzarea, etc. for
lunch. The location is called Mount of Tow Towers although the two
towers no longer stand. During the second World War the Germans occupied
the area and they used the towers as a look out point. At the time of
the landing at Anzio, the towers were shelled and demolished by the allies.

Today is a day at sea as we sail for Cartegena, Spain. This afternoon is
a roulette tournament and yours truly is currently number four in the
tournament. In 30 minutes, the top six players will contest for the
finals. We'll see.

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