Our study abroad group is together all. the. time. Seriously, we take the same classes; we have community dinner twice a week; we have group weekend trips; and the rest of the time we hangout together because, I mean, we like each other.:) I didn’t expect that I would get to know everyone so well or that I would enjoy community so much. However, I decided to veer off on my own today and do some more Rome exploring. Even though I’ve been in Rome for almost 3 months, there is still so much more I want to see! It’s nice to be by myself because I can go at whatever pace I want. Plus, I’m doing a lot better with directions now than I was at the beginning of the semester when I got lost.
My first stop was to Santa Maria della Concezione also known as “the Bone Church.” Before coming here, I looked at some pretty jarring pictures of skulls and bones lining the walls of the crypt and full skeletons propped up in the corners. But, I guess that is part of a larger museum, unfortunately. There was a long line, so I opted to come back on a weekday. However, I still got to see the church, which was largely neglected by tourists. It’s a beautiful church and contains a famous painting of St. Micheal the Archangel by Guido Reni. I other words, it wasn’t a huge waste that I went there and didn’t see the bones.But, I am definitely going back!
My next stop was Santa Maria in Cosmedin, which is famous for the bocca della verita (mouth of truth) outside the door. To get there, I had to brave the Metro B line, which is so much more sketch than the A line. You can tell the difference between the A and B lines solely by their smells. The A line smells sort of nice, like wet rocks. The B line smells like trash.
Luckily, Santa Maria in Cosmedin was worth the stench that followed me off the metro (only exaggerating slightly). I saw a gorgeous view of ancient Roman ruins on the short walk up the hill to the church. Inside the church is very simple, but beautiful nonetheless. They have relics of St. Valentine including his skull. I had to light a candle for me and Chris even though I’m not sure if St. Valentine actually has anything to do with romance besides the association with Valentine’s Day. Whatever, it can’t hurt!
After visiting the church, I took the ultimate lie detector test by putting my hand in the mouth of truth. Legend has it, that if a liar puts his hand it the mouth of truth, the mouth will bite his hand off. Pretty risky!
Ladies and gentlemen, I still have both of my hands intact.
My last stop was my favorite, Santa Sabina. I had been here for Ash Wednesday mass at 7 am earlier this semester, but I had been wanting to come back when it was light outside and not so crowded. This time the church was almost empty, and I had time to stroll through the gardens. It is a beautiful area with orange trees and a view of St. Peter’s Basilica. I just soaked it all in.
All in all, it was a successful excursion in Rome all by myself. I hopped back on the dreaded B line and got some victory gelato on the way back. Now, I shall get ahead on my homework before I go to Turin this weekend to see Jesus’ shroud.
Thanks for reading!