Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rome to Gondolfo

December 29, 2015

One of our senior couples made the long trip from Bari to Rome and transported one of our missionaries who was having medical issues.  They are returning home in a month so we took a few hours and showed them some of the sights near Rome that they haven't seen and won't have another opportunity to see before they drove back to Bari.

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The Basilica of Saint Clement is a Roman Catholic minor basilica dedicated to Pope Clement I located in Rome, Italy. Archaeologically speaking, the structure is a three-tiered complex of buildings: (1) the present basilica built just before the year 1100 during the height of the Middle Ages; (2) beneath the present basilica is a 4th-century basilica that had been converted out of the home of a Roman nobleman, part of which had in the 1st century briefly served as an early church, and the basement of which had in the 2nd century briefly served as a mithraeum; (3) the home of the Roman nobleman had been built on the foundations of a republican era building that had been destroyed in the Great Fire of 64 AD.

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Aventino Hill has many interesting sights within about a block.  There's an ancient church, San Sabrina, that has the oldest known representation of the cruxifiction carved on the door, the Rome Keyhole where you can look through the eye of the keyhole and look across land owned by Malta, Italy, and Vatican City with St. Peter's perfectly centered at the end, and a wonderful park with a lookout point that overlooks all of Rome.

Pyramid in Rome

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Castel Gandolfo is a town located 15 miles southeast of Rome in the Lazio region of Italy. Occupying a height on the Alban Hills overlooking Lake Albano, Castel Gandolfo has a population of approximately 8,834 residents and is considered one of Italy's most scenic towns.
Within the town's boundaries lies the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo which serves as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the pope, the leader of the Catholic Church. Although the palace is located within the borders of Castel Gandolfo, it has extraterritorial status as one of the properties of the Holy See and is not under Italian jurisdiction.

The resort community includes almost the whole coastline of Lake Albano which is surrounded by many summer residences, villas, and cottages built during the 17th century. It houses the Stadio Olimpico that staged the rowing events during the Rome Olympics.

Lake Albano

Pope's Summer Home

My favorite thing in Castel Gandolfo was a Nativity display in a church in the piazza by the Pope's summer home.

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