Sunday, April 20, 2008

Divino Afflante Spiritu

Spiritu di Vino

What do the following have in Common? When you Google Spiritu di Vino, the first result is the Catholic Encyclopedia’s explanation of Encyclical Letter on the Promotion of Biblical Studies, Divno Afflante Spiritu, September 30, 1943 from Pope Pius XII. Spiritu di Vino, on the other hand is a great restaurant in the Trastevere neighborhood.

Spiritu di Vino is definitely a restaurant I'd recommend.

First course:Ratatouille alprofumo di basilica in terrina. Excellent

Second Course: Pork in the style of Matius The legendary Matius, son of Cicero's learned friend, Gaius Matius, wrote three volumes on gastronomy and is said to be the inventor of a procedure that involves removing the pork fat, marinating the remainder for 24 hours in red wine and apple slices and roasting it in spices. Julius Caesar and Augustus couldn't get enough of it. It was excellent

Spiritu di Vino is housed in THE oldest commercial building in Rome. The service was excellent. The host had plenty of recommendations and was very courteous considering the size of our party.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


It rained a good amount while we were in the Eternal City. Of course nobody packed an umbrella. There were plenty of street vendors to provide tourists with umbrellas. The going price for umbrellas was two for five euros. I, of course, being a financial wizard paid five euros for one. Our esteemed president was able to haggle the vendors down to three for six, I believe. If you are in Rome, don't expect to be bringing these umbrellas home. You'd be lucky if they lasted three days. They are the FIAT of umbrellas. Caveat Emptor.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Photos from St John Lateran

Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris

More on Saint John the Lateran

" Ascension" by Cavalier d' Arpino
From the south transept head above the Blessed Sacrament

Before The Lateran Votive Church became the first place of public Christian worship, it was the Lateran Palace, held by prominent patriarchal family of Rome, the Laterani. At some point during Nero’s reign as emperor, it was confiscated. The Palace eventually fell in the hands of Constantine the Great. After Constantine’s conversion, in about 313, he gave the church to the Bishop of Rome, Pope St. Miltiades. The palace was converted and extended, eventually becoming the cathedral of Rome, the seat of the popes as bishops of Rome.

The main Façade is built in1732-1735 and was created by the Florentine Alessandro Galilei, architect to the nephew of Pope Clement XII, who oversaw the completion of the façade as archpriest of the Lateran.

I don’t know how long the Lateran church was the seat of the Holy Father. As reference, though, work on Saint Peter’s Basilica didn’t begin until April of 1506. The Basilica of Saint Peter was completed in 1626

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mater et Caput

The Exterior of Saint John Lateran
The Sacrosant and Patiarchal Lateran Archbasilica is the Roman Potnifical Cathedral, and also a mother church, but above all it was the first building of public worship in Rome and the entire Christian world: A model for all that followed.

This was the first church we visted on our second day. It was a rainy Friday in lent. Across the street from the the Saint John the Lateran Archbasilica was the Scala Sancta, the Holy Staircase.

This is said to be the very staircaise on which Christ himself climbed on the day of his passion. These stairs are stained with Christ's blood. The marble stairs protected with a walnut encasement. There are brass collars around the openings where Christ's blood stained the marble. Obviously, there was was a glass window protecting those stains. On this Friday in lent, I went up those stairs on my knees. With this act I earned a plenary indulgence.

The staircais was brought from Jeruselum to Rome by Constantine's mother, Saint Helena. At the time they were also known as Scala Pilati.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More on Trattoria-da-lucia

This was one of the highlights of our dining experiences in Rome. Everybody enjoyed their meal. While looking for the exact name and location of this restaurant, I recognized it was recommended by both Rick Steves and Lonely Planet. On the Rick Steves web sight they had a page were people can post their best and worst experiences. Many people noted that they weren't seated or treated well by the staff because they were tourists. Anyhow the food was great. I guess if you go, try not look or act like a tourist? Or go at the risk of getting lousy service.