Friday, February 06, 2009

My tour of the Vatican Gardens

Blogging has been sparse this week, due to an unexpected family medical situation. Right there's not much to do but wait, so we are all trying to get back to a sense of normalcy.

Several of my facebook friends have "tagged" me with the Twenty-Five Things meme, where I'm supposed to list 25 unique facts about myself. At the moment that seems like too much work. But, in thinking about things, I remembered my adventure in the Vatican Gardens.

My friend Annie and I went backpacking in Europe one summer after college. While in Rome I decided to tour the Vatican one day (Ann went to the Coliseum), and unfortunately they were closing down early and none of the usual tours were being offered.
As I was standing there a bit disappointed, an important looking priest came up to me, and said something in Italian. Because he seemed to want an answer, I smiled and nodded, and the next thing I knew, he was leading me by the arm, through a gate, through several doors, down a hallway, and eventually outside into a white van. I squeezed in and realized that I was the only shabby backpacker among lots of well dressed, academic looking Europeans.

Thankfully the ride was very short (I was feeling very self conscious) and soon large ornamental gates were swinging open to let our van through into a large, lush, peaceful greenness that seemed very out of place in the middle of chaotic Rome. Someone handed me a brochure, and from the pictures I was amazed to discover that I was in the Vatican Gardens.

We stayed all afternoon. The tour guide led us to various nooks and crannies, and the academic Europeans listened intently, scribbled notes, took pictures, and even examined leaves and flowers with magnifying glasses. I wasn't really into gardening back then, so I don't remember anything specific about the plants I saw. I just drank in the beauty, and tried to imagine what prayers might have been uttered in that beautiful, peaceful place. And, I eventually said a thankful prayer of my own.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


7:44 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Welcome Alessandra! Thank you for leaving your first comment. I've been a bit neglectful in blogging lately, but will have a new post up shortly.

Kind Regards,


8:02 AM  

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