The Road Less Travelled

Oct 14th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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St Benedict was born in Norcia in 480. Layer on he moved to Rome to study law. One of the places he was supposed to have stayed in is Trastevere in the Piazza in Piscinula. My travel agent who has been to Rome 58 times says Trastevere is favourite part of Rome and it had the best restaurants. I have to say that Trastevere was very appealing in every way. It has an old world charm and the restaurant I lunched in was superb. If you can find this little Piazza and this quaint little church please take a look. It's one of those little hidden gems.

I did a bit of a walk around 4 to 5 churches then went across the bridge to visit the Pantheon. Before she left Rome, Mother General said to me to visit it if I can.

I'm sorry I wanted to bring you up to date with Sorrento, this is where I am now but I can hardly keep my eyes open. Goodnight and God Bless.
Pelligrina is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 12:47 PM
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Rome is indeed a city where people try to prey on nuns, who are often not the most well-travelled people. Of course it's not really because they are nuns, but because they are not well-travelled.

I definitely hope to hear about less common destinations in your upcoming reports. Your eyes will see things differently -- I think that all of us here have understood that by now.
kerouac is online now  
Oct 14th, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Pretty funny story about the thief in the monastery. And he absolutely deserved what he got!

I look forward to "joining" you in Sorrento!
denisea is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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You travel, Sister, ad majorem Dei gloriam, and you bless us by doing it.
Ackislander is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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I am enjoying your travels on the road less traveled, as well as your unique perspective. Your report is a very good read. I'll bet lots of fodorites are following you and wishing you well on your journey.
taconictraveler is offline  
Oct 14th, 2012, 10:01 PM
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I am very much enjoying this Pelligrina. Sorry about the pickpocket but that sounds like a great handbag.
Micheline is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 06:55 AM
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Wonderful report, Pelligrina.
stokebailey is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 07:57 AM
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I just found your travel report and so enjoying reading it....I will now look for it daily and keep up with your journey. Bless you
dedec is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 08:35 AM
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Hi again Pellligrina,

I found it! only on googlemaps, mind you, but I'll be sure to try to find it for real next time we're there.

looking forward to Sorrento.
annhig is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Hello, Pelligrina,

I am enjoying your trip report. I am reminded of the trip to Italy that my sister and I took. I had serious arthritis in one knee and moderate arthritis in the other knee, so that even when I took pain killers in the morning, I was still limping around on those cobblestones.

I loved Italy, especially Rome, but I'm thinking I didn't see as much as I wanted because of my mobility issues. I do love a beautiful church, and your report is inspiring me to return and see more of those wonderful churches in Rome. I'm getting on in years, so I need to get a move on so that I can visit Rome again and also see some other places.

P.S. As an American and a lover of poetry, I like the title of this thread.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Oct 15th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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More, please!
TDudette is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 08:15 AM
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Sorry Fodorites,
Because of the places I've been staying in I found it difficult to get WiFi. I really have to play catch up because now I'm in Laval, France. I'm just going out for a bite to rat and then I'm going to jot down as much as I can. Bless you all for your encouragement.
Pelligrina is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 11:27 AM
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I'm just going out for a bite to rat and then I'm going to jot down as much as I can.>>

a bite to rat? yum!
annhig is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 01:21 PM
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Oh dear, that's what happens when you've only got your phone to use.
My rat tonight was shellfish, that was the restaurant's specialty next door and it was so much cheaper than back in Australia. If you're in Laval go to Les Relais d' Alsace right next to the Best Western Hotel. It's lovely and very reasonable.

ROME Continued...
I didnt mention before that at the back of the church which honours the place where St Benedict once lived, there is preserved there his bedroom. I think it is about one metre wide or less and about 1.5 metres long, all brick. Very, very simple when you compare it to Monte Cassino.

After lunch near St Benedict's room, I went across the Tiber to the little island. There is a hospital and the church there is where St Bartholemew the Apostle is buried. The church was closed so I continued on to the Pantheon. To my surprise I passed a huge synagogue but it too was closed. It looked beautiful from the outside.

When I arrived at the Pantheon I understood why Mother General had asked me to see it. The moment I walked in I gasped and it wasn't because of the overwhelming impression of the structure. The Pantheon is round. High above, right in the middle of the dome roof was a large opening which looked directly into the sky. M.General must have known what would go through my mind when I saw that opening.

In our congregation, the little stories about our Foundress are legendary among our sisters. They are part of Our heritage, our formation, they remind us of who we are and where we are going. Quo Vadis? One of the stories we have is about Marie Adele having a dream. She dreamt she was in a round room and right up top in the roof of the room was a hole and there was a ladder which led up through the hole, the ladder lead to heaven. The Pantheon is dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and our congregation is also devoted to the martyrs.
Pelligrina is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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After being moved in this beautiful building I looked at my map and perhaps a.little fool hardy thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to walk from the Pantheon to Termini station. I had some errands to do for the sisters. I used the attractions as landmarks. Needless to say it took me hours. It's so hard to keep moving when all you want to do is stay and look. An unexpected surprise was the church of St Ignatius of Loyola. I'm sure the paintings in there were Michael Angelos. They were magnificent. It was also of interest bec normally the church houses the relic of St Francis Xavier's forearm which is preserved in the action of giving a blessing. At this very moment the forearm is travelling around Australia to mark the Year of Faith. St Francis Xavier, St Therese of Liseaux, St Peter Chanelle and most importantly Our Lady Help of Christians are the patron saints of Australia.

After that I walked to the Trevi fountain, Quirinale (I really know nothing about this place) , Spanish steps, Maria Maggiore again and then the gelato place across the street. That was for energy of course. That walk took me 3hous bec I kept looking and then kept getting lost. Has anyone pseen that Woody Allen movie about Rome? I saw it on the plane it was very apt.
Pelligrina is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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MONTE CASSINO (2 nights)
It was with a heavy heart that I took leave of my sisters. Some of them I had known for 18 years and it was wonderful to catch up. But this is what our life is like, I may not see any of them again. I have a blood sister who is in the same order as me. My younger sister entered 6 months after I did. It was hard on Mum but now she says, I haven't lost two daughters I've gained two monasteries. Actually, she's gained ten because we're all like family. In Heaven there will be no more goodbyes.

After the experience in San Giovanni Rotondo of not able to find a taxi I was over anxious arriving in Cassino and immediately rang the hotel to ask them to send a taxi. I felt so sheepish when 1.5 minutes later a man talking on a mobile phone pointed to me and then pointed to the sign I was standing next to. It said in black on a red background TAXI. Then he pointed to the car I was standing in front of and it had a black and white sign on the dashboard which said TAXI.

Originally I thought I would have to pay about 50 euros in taxi fares to get to Monte Cassino. It turns out that 2 minutes from the Hotel Marconi which I stayed in, is the bus station. The bus goes up when the Abbey opens and returns when the Abbey shuts, both morning and afternoon. One trip only costs 80 cents. I made it just in time for the afternoon bus...

To be continued.... Goodnight and God Bless
Pelligrina is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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Your rat was shellfish? He should have learnt to share.

By any chance was your shellfish a Bug?

I love reading your report, and following you in spirit. Look forward to hearing more from you on your journey. It will inspire all of us on our journeys. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
Dave_Ohio is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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Still following along! We just returned from Rome and the Pantheon is really amazing. Beautiful and an engineering marvel.

I had read a book prior to going to Rome where the author (who lived in Rome for a year) had been told if it ever snows in Rome to run to the Pantheon to see the snow fall through the oculus. Wouldn't that be an amazing sight to see?
denisea is offline  
Oct 19th, 2012, 12:12 AM
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To my surprise I passed a huge synagogue but it too was closed. It looked beautiful from the outside.

The ejection of the moors and the jews from Spain in or before 1492 (such a pivotal date) meant yet another diaspora and a fair number moved to Italy, Venice in particular since Italy was only a geographical term at the time, Rome, and other mediteranian countries. Obviously the period under Franco lead to a major reduction to the jewish population but now increasing.
bilboburgler is online now  
Oct 19th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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MONTE CASSINO continued...
Before WWII, most of those, if not all of the pilgrims visiting Monte Cassino would've had some devotion to St Benedict or his twin sister St Scholastica. I estimated that during the time I was there, probably 98% of those on pilgrimage were devoted to those souls who lost their lives in the war. About 50% of the latter were Polish. They had come to visit the Polish cemetery where over 1000 soldiers had been buried close to the Abbey.

During WWII, 90% of the Abbey was destroyed by the Allies including the
hospital. There is a very solemn atmosphere about the place. Inside I was churning with excitement. This is Benedictine homeland, this is where our order began 1500 years ago. The Discalced Carmelites and Jesuits began in the 16 th century, Franciscans and Dominicans in the 12th. Benedictines are the oldest order in the Western Church and St Benedict was the Father of monasticism in the West.

There were 2 other people on the bus with me on that first of three trips up to the Abbey. They were two Kiwi gentlemen from NZ. One was an ex army officer and both had fathers who served at Monte Cassino during the war. It was one of those little blessed coincidences that we should meet. There were hardly any visitors when we arrived, we were the only English speakers but as we were 3 we formed a group and therefore we were able to get an English tour guide.

Us 3 had to pay for 30 people but one of the kiwis was so kind that he paid for my tour. It was important to me as the tour took us to St Benedict's cell when he wad Abbott of the Abbey. It was just as I imagined it would be. There is a large arched window which St Benedict used to look out of. There are so many stories connected to this window and this room. It was very moving to be there. If you visit Monte Cassino read 'The Diologues of St Gregory the Great' written about 100 years after St Benedict died. This little biography of St Benedict will explain quite a lot of what you see in the Abbey.

As we walked through the Abbey our tour guide kept being surprised that I knew what she was talking about. As we walked on she became increasingly puzzled but very happy that I knew so much about St Benedict. I have to explain that I'm not permitted to wear my habit while on leave because it is normally associated with the enclosure of the monastery. But it was getting rather funny. The 2 kiwis knew who I was and they could see the funny side too. As we approached the tomb of St Benedict and St Scholastica which is under the main altar of the Church, I decided it would be better to let her know. So I took out my old passport and showed her the picture of myself in the full habit.

It was my turn to be a bit surprised. I thought that they would have had truckloads of Benedictines at the Abbey but from her reaction I guessed that she had seen relatively few. It makes sense I suppose, we are normally cloistered after all. But she was genuinely happy to be sharing her enthusiasm with me.
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