The Proper Forum …

If you are a fan of really old things, our stroll through the ancient city of Rome would have been right up your alley. Beginning at the Colloseum1b-2. Imagine the stage covering the entire bottom.jpg

and continuing down the Via Sacre in the Roman Forum, we viewed many ruins and building fragments, some dating back to the time of Christ.

2. Titus' Arch detailing the surrender of Judah-Palestine.jpg

The renowned Arch of Titus erected by Emperor Domitian in honor of his brother Titus’ accomplishments, most notably his conquest of Palestine commemorated here by a frieze of Jewish slaves carrying costly relics from the temple at Jerusalem. The menorah is most easily recognizable.

Our knowledgeable Roman guide Alexandra transmitted copious amounts of information of which I hope I remember at least a small percentage.1a-1. We meet Alexandra.jpg

Many of our group enjoyed a unique lunch in Rome’s Jewish ghetto after which we drove outside the old city limits to tour the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls which was founded in the 3rd Century A.D. by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over the burial place of St. Paul.3a. St Paul's Outside the Walls (3).jpg

In place of our usual study session, Leonardo De Chirico, an evangelical pastor and passionate follower of Jesus, spoke to us about his calling and mission here in Rome. We listened in rapt attention, hearing his story of a perfunctory Catholic childhood, his entire family’s conversion to Christianity, and his subsequent call to the pastorate. We were moved, inspired and touched by his witness to God’s saving grace, ending the meeting surrounding him in prayer, literally and spiritually.

For the first time on our trip, we were then on our own for the evening meal, so we six Alaskans took the advice of our hotel concierge for the best local pizza and beer. He sent us directly across the street to a charming spot for pizza al forno legna (pizza in the baked wood oven) — we enjoyed the food and the ambiance.4. The AKn contingent at dinner.jpg

Tomorrow, the Vatican and Tivoli!

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