Buonanotte da Roma!

(Title, translated: "Good night, from Rome!")

Many new experiences every day. Greetings from the eternal city! After having been in the city that never sleeps a few weeks ago, it's quite nice to be in a more or less quiet but beautiful place!

Some of the first Roman air I breathed - Alitalia 777 Airplane Engine
Some of the first Roman air in which I breathed. Tasted good!

I hopped off the Alitalia flight into the Fiumicino (FCO) airport, straight onto the tarmac. Hadn't done that from an airliner the size of this 777 in my whole life! We got on a bus, went to get the bags at the baggage claim, then I met with two Redemptorist priests to head over to the Salesianum, a retreat house/hotel run by the Saletians, located just outside Rome.

I took a quick tour of the Salesianum, discovering the auditorium (where most of the Redemptorists 2009 General Chapter will be held), the chapel (an underground, very modern design), and the dining halls (apparently, to the Italians, the most important areas of the building!).

Desk in Room
Sparse, but utilitarian.

I then set up a few things in my room, in which there are some pretty awesome light-blocking 'garage door' window shades, a bunch of funny looking electrical outlets, and a cool toilet and shower faucet. There's also a little 'sink' of sorts on the ground next to the toilet. You can figure out what it might be used for!

Sunset in Rome
The sunset. Looks pretty much the same wherever you are!

After a day adjusting to the time zone differences by taking a 3 hour nap (jet lag has been pretty bad today), I snapped a shot of the sunset, as viewed outside my window, and then headed down for 'supper', which was a 'light' three course meal ('Dinner' was a four-course meal at 1 p.m.). One could easily turn more gourd-shaped after living here for a while without exercise!

Depending on how things go tomorrow (we set up the streaming equipment in the auditorium (basically an HP laptop running feeding Ustream, fed by the house video system converted to digital via a Canopus converter box), I might be able to visit Rome (the actual city, not the outskirts) as early as Saturday!

Thousands of pictures, and more writing, to come!