All posts tagged: Katie Parla

Observations from the Road: The “Final Rome Edition”…For This Visit

As we prepare to leave Rome and head home, I have pulled together a few final observations about things we have seen while in this most fascinating of countries.  I’ll begin with the serious, and then move on to – shall we say – less serious thoughts that have popped into my head before returning to a final note of thanksgiving.  As always, these Observations From… posts are quick and quirky.  You’ve been warned! The Non-Catholic Cemetery is a treasure – Several people told us to make sure we visited the “Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome” (also known as the Protestant Cemetery), and we are so glad we did.  On the day we visited Ostia Antica, we walked across the street from the train station upon our return and spent a good hour roaming through this beautiful space. Here is a bit of the background, from the cemetery’s website: The Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners in Testaccio, Rome (to give it its full name) is also widely known as the Protestant Cemetery although it contains the graves …

Observations from the Road: Scenes from Holy Week in Rome

Sorry.  No pope sightings (or even attempts at pope sightings). We have had a relatively low-key Holy Week while in Rome, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had its memorable moments. Olive Trees and Palm Sunday:  Our week began last Sunday with a Palm Sunday processional at the neighborhood Basilica di San Pancrazio in Monteverde.  A 6th century basilica that was extensively renovated following Garibaldi’s 1849 attack on Rome, San Pancrazio was a lively place last Sunday. We met about a block away from the basilica and followed priests and musicians through the streets, waving olive branches in place of the palms we see in the United States.  During the service, conducted (of course) entirely in Italian, we only understood the occasional word. But we knew the shape of the liturgy and could follow along without getting lost.  The nave was filled with worshipers, while the aisles were used by parents and nuns to walk or stroll young children throughout the service.  The music was similar to Catholic folk masses in the U.S. these days …

Observations from the Road: (The “We Learn So Much Every Day” Edition)

A couple of quick thoughts about recent days in Italy. Orvieto update – To no one’s surprise, Orvieto (which I wrote about yesterday) is the favorite town of several of our friends and colleagues.  We can see why.  A long-time and dear friend from our days in Staunton, Sally James, wrote to say that Orvieto is her “home away from home!”  In my original post, I didn’t mention the chapel by Fra Angeloco and Luca Signorelli, which is the topic of Sally’s first book, Signorelli and Fra Angelico at Orvieto: Liturgy, Poetry and a Vision of the End Time. The decoration of the Cappella Nuova, commenced by Fra Angelico in 1447 and magnificently completed by Luca Signorelli in 1499 and 1504, displays an awe-inspiring Last Judgement and Apocalypse and, below it, scenes from Dante and classical literature. This was yet another magnificent space in an incredible building full of wonderful art and architecture.  Sally encourages us to look for the next issue of Gesta, probably in April, to see her article on the frescoes of …