August 24

August 24 Catacombs in RomeTalk about patient, we spent the day on a “roots” tour of Rome, and the kids not only put up with it, but claimed to have enjoyed it!

We visited the Gianicolo, the hill across the river where Dan studied and lived his junior year, then walked over the hill into the Monteverde Vecchio neighborhood where Dan and Lisa lived in 1991. Along the way we went into the catacombs under the church of San Pancrazio. These are fittingly creepy, with some bones of 3rd century Christians, some fragments of ancient tablets and signs, and an old underground “church” carved into the rock (with the 3rd century red, green and white paint still on the walls in some places). The catacombs are permanently blocked in some places, and in other places they simply don’t extend the lights, so there’s no real risk of getting lost. But it was plenty spooky looking around down there, where the tunnels twist and turn. An Italian monk, in Franciscan robes (think Friar Tuck) joined us for part of it–I think he was curious about us, since we are so obviously foreign and since these catacombs do not appear in any guidebook (you reach them through a trapdoor in the back of the church that the priest opens for you). It was like a tour that watches you back.

We finished our tour with a walk through the large (and hot, dusty and dry) Villa Doria Pamphili, then a walk down the hill back to our apartment. We did not break yet another record for steps, but we were tired enough after two long days of walking that we had a lovely dinner in and then went to bed early.


One response to “August 24

  1. Is that the same Doria family who are friendss of the Pardees? The prince and his sister have an art gallery and palazzo in Rome.

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