Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A Roman adventure - part 1

Laura was very excited, she packed her trunk and rucksack, encouraged Clemence to settle into her new handbag (from Henry), put her travelling clothes on and made sure her camera was handy then climbed into her special travelling bag made by Lorraine.  This was going to be the biggest adventure yet and she was glad to have the company of her new friend Heidi the cuddly Glorex doll whom Theresa had given to our daughter at the Chat 'n Snap in October.

It was a very early start on the Monday morning (the taxi arrived at 3:25 am!).  Soon Laura and Heidi were waiting at the airport for the plane to be ready.
Laura waited for bag check in to open, it was still dark outside
Laura and Heidi supervised some colouring in while waiting to board the plane
Laura and Heidi cuddled up in their plane seat waiting for the plane to taxi to the runway for takeoff
On the flight there was a wonderful good morning view from the plane of the snowy alps between France and Italy
Laura and Heidi's first glimpse of the Italian coast near Rome as we came into land
After landing and collecting bags, Laura and Heidi boarded the Leonardo Express train to Rome from the airport.  The trains were double deckers and very smooth on their rails
Heidi was fascinated by the balcony gardens en route to Rome
Laura took a photo of the graffiti alongside the train tracks, later she even saw many of the trains covered in graffiti (though not the Leonardo Express)
Laura's photo of graffiti alongside the train tracks
When she got to the hotel near Termini Station in Rome, Laura was tired from all the travelling.  She and Heidi had a rest before Laura decided to venture out and explore Rome in the late afternoon.  Her first visit was the nearby Santa Maria Maggiore Basillica.  Inside it was very ornate, filled with marble, gold leaf, rich mosaics and paintings.
Laura viewed the large decorated canopy over the altar
There was a large brass bell near the altar, was this for ringing the Angelus?
Laura could see a pipe organ in the apse behind the altar
All around the sides of the church were large wooden confessionals, Laura was intrigued and peered through the grill to where the priest would sit to hear confession
Santa Maria Maggiore has a vast nave with a marble floor
Laura liked the different decorative marbles used in pattern to make the floor
In the piazza outside Santa Maria Maggiore is a large fountain with lovely fresh water.  As the last of the afternoon light was disappearing the porch of the church was lit up showing the rich golden mosaics in all their glory
While walking through the streets Laura came across St Paul's in the Walls (American Episcopal Church), it was still open and no one was there.  It was much smaller than Santa Maria Maggiore and was also richly decorated.  The tower outside reminded Laura of Westminster Cathedral in London which she visited in the summer.
St Paul's in the walls
Laura saw that the side chapel in St Paul's was much simpler in decoration than the main nave
At first Laura thought these were paintings however she soon discovered they are actually mosiacs made with very tiny brightly coloured tiles
Laura was delighted to find the church welcomed younger visitors who like to do art, she was soon colouring in a picture of Moses in the bull-rushes
Laura did a great job of Miriam and Moses
Soon it was time for dinner at a nearby restaurant then return to the hotel - it had been a long day and Laura and Heidi were very tired.

4 comments:

Henry Holiday said...

Oh Laura, you are so lucky! I want to visit here with my Mum one day - I know it has been on her wish list, she wants to visit La Scala where a famous clarinetist/composer played for Verdi - and since I heard about Italy and all the Roman ruins and historical churches I have wanted to go too. You will have to tell me all about it when you get home! Glad you have your friend Heidi with you - it is always good fun to travel with friends. Take lots of photos. Love Henry

DollMum said...

Hi Henry, I was thinking of you through the whole holiday. We didn't visit La Scala as I think that is in another big Italian city but we visited plenty of other places in Rome as you will see once I finish editing all my photos (I took lots). Love Laura

Ginger said...

Hi Laura! I really enjoyed your post of your trip to Rome, Italy. It is so nice to see the beautiful church and lovely mosaics. Thank you for sharing with us! Miss Ginger :) xxx.

Kendal said...

What a seasoned explorer and adventurer Laura and her mummy have become. Jet-setting off around the world with a minimum of fuss and baggage and ready for anything.
Her Lorraine-made doll carrying bag is certainly getting a lot of use and is just perfect for Laura and Clemence to travel safely and comfortably in. Rather wishing after seeing all these posts that I could have fitted or squeezed in as well.