A Roman Round Up.

It’s been a busy couple of days around here, so it seems time for a house keeping update! So, what have we missed…

Baby met the Pope, so that’s huge. Hard to write a follow-up post to that. We were handed a note in Italian from one of the security people after Baby’s blessing, giving us directions to where we could pick up the photos that the Pope’s photographer took, if we chose to. It was an honour to be able to pass security and enter into Vatican City, as you are required to state your reason for business, and be approved entrance into it. The streets were quiet, and the air was clean…a complete contrast to the mobs of smoking tourists outside the city’s gates. We did purchase five of the 19 photos taken of Baby, all from different angles. If people buy a photo of themselves at the height of a roller coaster, this certainly seemed justifiable! We still can’t get over it: every now and then one of us will laugh and say “Baby met the Pope!” Ha. I don’t know that we could have another child — how would we top that?


Official Vatican Photo!

Thursday we had the pleasure of visiting the Vatican again, but that time for a tour of the museum, which was absolutely excellent. It happened to coincide with Baby’s nap time, but we still opted for the shortened tour which took about an hour, to assure his comfort (and those around us), followed by a wander through St. Peter’s Basilica. I know absolutely nothing about art or history but thoroughly enjoyed it. Tyler had done some research on a few of the rooms we visited so was able to give me and my mum a bit of a tour. We didn’t use a guide, or have an audio set which would have been wonderful without a baby when you could focus on the information given to you, but for his age, it made more sense to simply visually enjoy it.


View from the Basilica.

Yesterday, we went on the Eating Italy Tour in Trastevere, a lovely part of Rome that prides itself on artisan shops, and the slow food movement. Some wonderful friends-who-started-as-clients of mine have spent quite a bit of time in Italy and recommended it. I had remembered them saying how much they loved that neighbourhood so Tyler and I went when we first arrived to wander around, but it wasn’t until my mum came that we did the tour — it was her thank-you gift for allowing her to sleep on our couch (she swears it was comfortable)! We made stops at a pastry, cheese, suppli, meat, biscuti and gelato shop, and had a trip to the local market to try food from two different vendors, before a restaurant stop for three different kinds of pasta, and finished the tour at a wine bar, where the wine cellar is older than the Colosseum! We did the 11:30 am tour and called it lunch and dinner. If you’re ever in Rome, I’d highly recommend the tour — it was about four hours of trying different foods and learning about the families that run the shops, where they source their ingredients, and why the food we ate was important to Roman culture.


1st century BC wine cellar.  What?!

In other news, President Obama is in Rome right now, which we learned when our taxi was at a dead stop in traffic as the roads had been closed for him to pass through. We got out of the taxi (watching the meter go up when you’re not making progress is stressful to me), to walk home as we were nearish to where we wanted to be, and by the time we paid and got to the sidewalk we got to see the President’s crew pass by. I can’t even tell you how many cars/trucks/police are involved in this production. There must have been about 30 identical shiny black cars in a row that drove by. I’d love to know more about Presidential travel as there must be so much involved in having someone with such power visit foreign locations…from where he sleeps, to where the heck all those matching cars came from, I’d love to know more.

Finally, last night we went to a special presentation at Trevi Fountain, which they illuminated with red spotlights as symbolism of the blood of Christian martyrs. Originally they had announced they would dye the water in the fountain red, but in the end, they used red spotlights — a much safer bet for the long term.  There were a number of speakers talking personally of their experiences, a live violinist, and a boat load of press. Baby was broadcast on live TV (I’m sure you’re not surprised at this point…they.love.babies). It was a live streaming television channel and the host said “what is your baby’s name?” We said “Wence” and he said “everyone send their love to baby Wence!” and he was able to show us all of the tweets coming in saying “Hi Wence!” “We love you Wence!”


Trevi washed with the “blood” of Christians.

Phew, that’s a big update.

Until next time,

J xo