It is really Saturday at 5.30 am that I write this because by the time we got home last night (Midnight) I was dead to the world and my mind ceased functioning. By the way it stops functioning on a regular basis now and I cannot take in any more information. I sleep like a rock and have been waking up around 5.30 every morning. Since nothing is open at that time, I don’t have access to good strong coffee so I am useless until breakfast opens in an hour. Usually when I don’t have coffee immediately I start nurturing a headache. But these days not so much. But I digress…even more.
The tour so far has been hectic moving from one adventure to another. The kids are real troopers. After yesterday’s marathon rehearsal out in the middle of nowhere, they had another one today in a very hot church in town. Up at 6.30 am by our tour guide Valerio, we are out the door by 8 and on the bus to a new venue. Today’s bus trip included the group from Oz Amici a singing group of older people from Australia. They are a kick and around my age. My new BFF is a guy named Peter who is the only male in the group. We have wound up together on the bus several times. He knows the Jesuits from Riverdale just outside of Sydney so we had common ground. The Aussies went on a different tour today.
Our first stop, after a long long and brisk walk, was the Church of the Gesu where we met with the President of the St. Ignatius Prep. The Gesu used to be the central church of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). It is the place where Ignatius Loyola lived and worked after he founded the Society. The Church itself is beautiful but what was truly moving for both kid and me was seeing the tomb of Ignatius on one side of the church and on the other side, directly opposite was the tomb of Francis Xavier. Two heavy weights in the early history of the Jesuit Order within shouting distance of each other. The kids gave an impromptu concert in the church.
We then moved to the room where Ignatius died and were treated to an art lecture by our new BFF from Barcelona, Eduardo. It is hard to put into words what I felt being there, just say it was moving.
If all roads lead to Rome, then this tour usually winds up in the piazza navona. This is where we took lunch after the tour of the Gesu. Then it was off to to an Anglican church near the plaza of the republic where the combined choirs had another long rehearsal in preparation for St. Peter’s on Saturday and the Final Concert on Sunday. While they toiled away in a hot church, I went and had a pizza in a shaded side alley. I also checked out the Roman Baths which had been turned into a church. From the outside it looked small but when I walked through the door the place was huge. It was at least a hundred yards wide and almost as long.
Then back to piazza navona and preparation for the concert at St. Agnes church. By the time the kids changed into their concert clothes, tuxes and gowns, their was a sizable audience. Of the four choirs, only Monte Vista, a school in Watsonville, and us were performing. Since I have a stake in the proceedings, I thought we were better. Good sound and good venue.
Both groups went to dinner at a La Lucca Gialla Ristorante just off the piazza. It was great fun in the teeny tiny eatery. Instead of hopping on the bus, the kids asked if the two groups could wander around the packed piazza for a half hour or so. Lots of life at night. Dead tired we returned to our hotel and crash landed.
Tomorrow (Saturday) St. Peter’s Basilica with the combined choirs. We should blow the dome off that place.
And so it goes.