Saint Paul Outside the Walls

Saint Paul outside the walls. More pictures to come - I've now toured all the four major basilicas of the Church, but am quite tired. Pictures will be posted as soon as I'm able to get to them :-)

Saint Paul Outside the Walls - Palm Tree at Dusk

Picture taken at dusk, with the Canon Powershot G11 at ISO 80. Stabilized against a wooden post.

At the Salesianum Outside Rome

The Redemptorist's XXIV General Chapter is being held this year at the Salesianum, a retreat house / hotel/resort / convention center that is owned by the Saletians. The Salesianum is located about 30 minutes west of Rome's city center, and is set between some hilly farming areas and a major highway.

Salesianum - Side View with Palm Tree
Many beautiful Palm trees surround the Salesianum.

Also on the property is a beautiful field/hillside of olive trees; pictured below is a single olive on one of the trees. I spotted a pretty good variety of flora and fauna while walking around the property.

Touring Roma (Day 2)

Photos: View a gallery of photos from my 2nd day touring Roma.

Yesterday I again ventured out into the many streets of Rome, this time focusing on the Southeast corner of the city, and most especially the area surrounding the ancient Roman Forum and Colosseum.

But first, an image to show the craziness that is Italian power:

European Lightswitch and Power Outlet

These crazy little buggers are everywhere. It's always an ordeal to tell which way is on, and which is off, because in Italy, I don't know if there's any standard 'up is on, and down is off' kind of system. Also, most outlets are arranged with ground in the middle prong, with three across. Seems odd to me - anyone know the reasoning behind this? I know in America, our ground sticks out further than the hot leads to ensure a ground is made before the power is hot, but it doesn't seem to be the case over here.

Anyways, back to Roma...

Needed in America - Respect for God

Sign Prohibiting Shorts and Casual Wear in Basilica Church
If you're not wearing respectful clothes, please don't enter.

"Si prega di usare un abbigliamento adeguato alla casa di Dio. Pertanto si invita a non entrare in pantaloni corti, in minigonna, in canottiera, con la schiena scoperta o con abbigliamento troppo scollato. Grazie!"

Roughly translated: "Please use appropriate clothing to the house of God. Please don't enter wearing shorts, mini-skirts, in a singlet, or with backless or low-cut clothing. Thank you!"

Jeff's tranlsation: Wear modest and respectful clothes, for goodness' sake! God is here!

Touring Roma (UPDATED)

[UPDATE: All the pictures from Day 1 have been posted to a gallery.]

St. Mary Major Basilica
Saint Mary Major Basilica.

Fortune smiled upon me today, and I was able to travel to many destinations in Rome, mostly around the Vatican. After walking past Saint Mary Major Basilica (picture above), I walked to the Trevi fountain (a nice place for a pickpocket, I would think), progressed to the Triton fountain, and then hopped on the Italian subway (the Metropolitana, or something like that).

Trevi Fountain
Trevi fountain. Not much room around this area.

The Salesianum (Rome, Italy)

After a couple days in the Salesianum, a retreat house / hotel / resort-ish place located 30 minutes west of Rome, I've been able to explore most of the main areas, and have been impressed and unimpressed... 'whelmed' and 'underwhelmed,' as it were.

aula magna - Salesianum, Rome, Italy
Sign for the aula magna (grainy due to iPhone picture taking in the dark).

Starting with some of the best... most of the General Chapter will be held in the 'aula magna,' which is relatively state-of-the-art. The auditorium has seating for 250 (something around that number), and has a pretty complex but functional A/V system. I will soon be writing up a post about how we're taking the video from the auditorium and putting it online for general consumption... that will probably be posted to

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.

Arrivederci, USA! (Salve Italia!)

On October 19, 2009, the Redemptorist priests will hold their 2009 General Chapter in Rome, Italy (Zenit news story), and, since they thousands of priests and missionaries spread throughout the world, they decided to stream the events of the General Chapter online (Ustream channel). Through a series of wonderful events and conversations, I was eventually invited to help the priests with technical aspects of said streaming, and thus, I am headed over to Rome this morning.

I will be in Rome until October 31st, but will still be working remotely for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. I'll also keep updating my Twitter feed, this blog, and my Flickr photostream, most likely (as time allows, of course). I won't get a ton of time to sightsee, but even a few hours would be more than enough to fall in love with Roma, I should think.

See you on the flipside!