By Len Friesen, Tour Leader
So we have arrived and our group is now fully engaged. We gathered in Rome early today from the east coast of Canada to the west of both Canada and the US, and some of us in central Canada to boot. We checked into our hotel, stood at the entrance and admired the 2nd century Trajan tower standing before us.
From there we wandered around the glorious (and gloriously in-your-face) “Altar of the Fatherland” monument to the unknown soldier, and then up the steps to Michelangelo’s “Capitoline Hill.” Michelangelo’s mark is everywhere on this staircase and square, from the tiling to the buildings to the placement of the monument.
That plus a visit to St. Maria in the Heavens Cathedral was enough to introduce “key themes” to the group: Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic, and so on. By this means we have set the stage for what we will see on all days going forward.
Later as we sat in a coffee shop we couldn’t quite believe that we had actually made it to Rome. It may well be an Italian city, but look around, gaze on its history, and you’ll quickly see that it is everyone’s history. We’re fortunate to be here.
But now exhaustion has set in from 24 sleepless hours. Time for bed!