Tag Archives: Easter week

Good Friday Procession

The Christ figure had been brought down the hill to the Basilica of St Francis after early Mass first thing on Good Friday. At dusk, we gathered at San Rufino to process Our Lady of Seven Sorrows down the hill to join her Son. Then, after a brief service in the Basilica, Mother and Son were processed back up the hill as a full moon rose. Town lights were largely turned off, with small wicked lanterns lighting out way — so the pictures are dark. I post them anyway to capture at least part of each section of this extraordinary ritual.

Waiting outside San Rufino

Our Lady lit by cell phone flashes

Interior Basilica of St Francis

I could only load one video. It’s dark, but strangely enough the cell phone lights flashing on the statue of Mary add a mystical feel.

PS. I am moved by the communal experience of it — seems the whole town came out — more than the spiritual experience of it. In fact, the white hoods and crosses can’t help but be creepy to someone immersed in the study of slavery.

The Vatican

People warned me that the Vatican would be mobbed and it was. Really mobbed. Our intrepid guide, five feet tall and carrying a flag on a stick, dispensed knowledge with a warm charm and kept a good pace going. The hours flew by.

Saint Peter’s Basilica (below) and our guide (above).

The dome is slightly smaller than the Pantheon’s.

Believe it be or not, I had seen Michelangelo’s Pieta before when it came to the New York World’s Fair. It says something about my mother that we went. For all our frequent trips to family in the city over the years, my parents never took us to the Bronx Zoo or the Statue of Liberty or FAO Schwartz. But we saw Michelangelo’s Pieta.

The artist spent eight months at the quarry looking for the right block of marble for this piece. He famously claimed that his sculptures were already present in the stone and all he did was liberate them. “He was not a modest man,” said our guide.

He sculpted this piece at the age of 25 and it is the only piece of art that he ever signed.

Outside the lines stretched for miles! Buying tix for a tour in advance is definitely the way to go (we used City Wonders).

Setting up for Easter services. I gather it was a little more crowded than usual given the time of year.

Here is a brief clip of lightening over the city from yesterday.

If it doesn’t load, you can view it over on Instagram (deeamallon).

(We weren’t allowed to take photos of the Sistine Chapel).

Our second memorable meal was at a tiny place down a little alley that we just happed upon. Boy, what Italians do with artichokes! I’m gonna have to up my game in future.