Lovely sighting while out on a walk,
taking a break from my work.

So, I’m catching up with my postings. The rest of my Rome trip was a whirlwind, preparing for the conference and then participating in the conference. But I did jot some notes and take some pictures for each day, which I’ll post sequentially over the next few days.

My third day in Rome was spent mostly inside, working on my paper.¬† Not a bad place to work. I was staying at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where Pope Francis also resides. Interestingly, the salon where I was working has… two Popes.

Portraits of Pope Francis & Pope Benedict

I find it a gracious touch that in the residence that is his home, Pope Francis keeps this official portrait of Benedict at equal level with his own. The art on either side of them depicts Sts. Peter and Paul, respectively. St. Peter is holding his keys and is to the left of Pope Francis’ image.

St. Peter & Pope Francis

But the portraits were not enough to keep me from feeling just a little batty after a while and in need of a brief walkabout.

In Piazza Navona, I couldn’t help but sort of envy these folks with their prime view. How amazing to have a place where your balcony has Piazza Navona as a view.

Looking out at Piazza Navona.

Granted, it probably gets noisy at night time, until about 2 or 3 a.m. But not bad in the afternoon!

Some of the other English speaking conference attendees arrived and we decided that I’d done enough staring at the Pope in the dining room; so we had a great meal at Trattoria degli Amici in Trastevere. What a great place! It’s a project of the Sant’Egidio Community and they hire people with disabilities to work there. Everything is uber professional. You’d have no idea that this is a charitable type of work unless you read the paper table covering, which explains that the art is also part of the work done by people with disabilities.

Let me tell you, if the art is a measure of one’s disability, then I’m the disabled one! I certainly wish I’d thought to snap a few shots.

On our walk back to the Domus, some of our group stopped for cigars. Sorry, but the European bluntness makes me laugh. Yes, yes, I know smoking is very bad for one’s health. I don’t smoke. But still this made me laugh.


Smoke kills. [In case you were wondering….]

I’m not sure the legalism in the US would allow for such a bold statement. Yet, the irony is that despite that huge and rather ugly warning label, plenty of people will enjoy a smoke and they may not even die from it. Then again, maybe this blunt warning fits perfectly in a country where fresh air is still considered dangerous….’Fa male al fegato.’ (It’s not good for the liver.)