I have been out of the country for nearly three weeks, hence my silence until last night. I’d been trying to figure out how to structure these blogs, and I think the best way is reverse chronological order. So I’ll start with Sunday.
My friend Daniela is a diplomat, stationed in Rome. I stayed with her for a week. My last day there, we went exploring in Castelli Romani- the hill towns around Rome, where rich people even in Caesar’s time had their weekend villas. Frascati is know for its wine (I don’t much like white wine, but Frascati is both dry and non-acidic); another town is know for its strawberries.
We started out in Castel Gandolfo, where the Pope has his summer house, getting there just in time for the Pope to address the public (well, the approved audience. We watched him on a wide-screen TV, two courtyards away). So we said the Angelus with him (with what liturgical Latin we’d picked up from music) and picked up smatterings of his multi-lingual sermon (some of the German and some of the Italian, not all). Benedict’s actually much more personable even as close as we were to him (not very) than he is in the media. The photo is of the Swiss guards, and you can see the edge of the TV screen. The second photo is of the volcanic lake below the castle.