We had a three day weekend in early December because it was National Youth Day so some friends very kindly invited me to go to the Christmas Markets in Rome with them. I hesitated because I knew I would be visiting southern Italy the week before. But then I thought, when am I ever going to have this opportunity again so I said “yes” to the invitation. A round trip ticket to Rome cost around a hundred dollars and I shared a room so the cost of the trip was minimal which also made me take advantage of the chance to go to Italy again.
We arrived In Rome around 3:00 and after settling into our hotel we started a walk to Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square). You can see the Basilica in the background of this picture.
A view of the Vatican City Christmas tree and a couple of gorgeous almost life-size nativity scenes.
After walking around St. Peter’s Square we headed here. You may know that I collect nativity sets so this display was perfect, loved it!!
Here are a few of the nativity scenes we saw:
The nativity set on the left is made of styrofoam while the one on the right is made of macaroni. Amazing!
These were my two favorite…
On the way back to our hotel we spontaneously stopped to tour the Castel Sant’Angelo built by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 123AD. It was originally built as a mausoleum.
Look at the view from the top of the castle!
The next morning we headed to the Piazza Navona where the biggest Christmas Market was opening that day. What a beautiful setting for a market!
Here are a few pictures of what was being sold at the Christmas Markets. I thought there would be lots and lots of vendors (think Fairport Canal Days). Instead there were probably a total of 20 vendors, many with very similar items for sale. I did not buy a lot but enjoyed wandering around and simply looking.
In the afternoon we walked some of the small streets around the Piazza Navona and saw lots of evidence of the upcoming holiday.
That night we toured Rome at nightfall on a golf cart. Beautiful and such fun!
The next morning on my run I went back to St. Peter’s Square. I know I keep overusing the word “beautiful” but I can’t think of enough adjectives to adequately describe the above scene. Also, although I am not Catholic there is definitely a spiritual feel when you enter this Square, particularly early in the morning when there are not many people around. God is good and God is present.
Thank you for continuing to read and comment on this blog. I do feel so very grateful to have these experiences and then be able to share them with friends and family. Right now Randy, Josh and I are in Bratislava, Slovakia. We took a train from Budapest this morning and will be taking another train to Krakow, Poland tomorrow morning. We will then spend a few days in Prague and then end our trip in Ljubljana, Slovenia. School starts again on January 6th. David joined us for a few days in Budapest but now has returned back to NYC for work. The Chervenaks stayed in South Africa for Christmas. It is hard not to be altogether for Christmas but this is just how we could work it out this year. Since Randy and I will be moving back to the States in July we felt like we wanted to take this opportunity to travel.
Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or simply Happy Holidays! We wish all the best to you and your loved ones in 2020!!