Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rome Prepares

There can be no doubt as to who is being celebrated this coming Sunday - though I must say that many of the photos seem to be of the period when his Parkinson's was becoming apparent which I find a bit odd. For some reason this side of the Piazza always seems to be deserted but believe me the crowds were there.

Now I know I said that I would not go anywhere near the country on the other side of the river during the carry-on over J2P2 but needs must sometimes makes us backtrack. I had promised a friend in Canada that I would send him a ticket for one of the concerts we will be missing when we head off to Sicily next month. He'll be here visiting and as he's a singer I knew he would enjoy hearing Benjamin Brittan's War Requiem.  However as I have often mentioned in past postings I am not all that confident of the good services of PosteItalia. So when I have something I want to reach its destination in a timely manner I head over to PopePost at the Holy See.

Though rain is being predicted for Sunday the chairs are already been set up in the Piazza for the Beatification.  This morning when I arrived at 1130 the line up to get into the Basilica was half way across the Piazza.  As the week progresses it will get worse.

Now any jaunt over to the country across the river means going through Centro which was a zoo and then to get to PopePost a trudge through Piazza San Pietro, which though it may look empty relatively empty is a nightmare to manoeuvre when you have a goal in mind.  Though the event is still four days away the Piazza was filled with eager groups of pilgrims, cruise boat tour groups, beaming nuns posing for pictures in front of the huge images of J2P2,  souvenir hucksters shilling your red hot Beatification t-shirts and tour guides offering to help the punters avoid the line up to get into the Basilica. Looking at the line I figured the wait was about 35-45 minutes to get through security.  But then in true fashion they only had two stations open!  I honestly haven't seen that much activity in the four years we've been here except maybe during Holy Week.

Red, ready and waiting for the thousands that are predicted for Sunday's event.  Interestingly all the services are provided not by the Vatican but by the Commune di Roma: security, sanitation, clean-up all paid for by the citizens of Roma.

I quickly got my stamp - having pushed through crowds at the Post Office - mailed my letter and escaped on the #62 bus back to Italy. I shall not pass that way again for a while!

28 aprile - San Luigi Maria Grignion de Montfort

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Debra She Who Seeks said...

Why is Rome picking up the tab for services? They should charge it back to the Vatican. They could pay for it by . . . oh, I don't know . . . pawning a ring or something! Cheap bastards.


I'm with debra.