Sunday, 25 September 2016

Relics and Ruins

One last coffee and cornetti at Linari with our friends before they head home and we pick up the tram to Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. 

This church is one of the seven pilgrim churches of Rome and it contains many relics from the Holy Land bought back by St Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine. The relics are housed in their own chapel and include the Title of the Cross which was found sealed behind a brick whilst repairs where taking place in 1492.

A side chapel contains a facsimile of the Shroud of Turin.

Another side chapel is dedicated to Antonietta Meo, a six year old girl who suffered from bone cancer. She had visions & wrote letters and a prayer to Jesus and is being considered for sainthood.

The church itself is built into the remains of the Sessorian Palace, owned by St Helen. The Chapel of St Helen is part of the palace complex and can be reached by a flight of stairs that takes you down to the original floor level of the Roman palace.
The basilica itself contains a beautiful Cosmatesque floor from the 12th century.

As we leave the basilica we spot the gate to the monastic gardens which were created inside the Castrense Ampitheatre. The coloured glass gates, made in 2007, are striking.

From the ancient to the modern day, we now take Metro C for a couple of stops. This metro line is clean and the trains are practically empty during the day.

Our lunch venue today is Pro Loco Dol in Centrocelle. This deli stocks food from local suppliers in Lazio but also has a space for eating. The serious business of purchasing cured meats, cheeses & olive oil precedes lunch.

We chose a mixed meat platter to share, served on a wooden board and accompanied with a craft beer & Cesanese wine.

Back to the apartment for garden time........

........before heading out on the tram once more to pick up food for an aperitivo picnic. Half way along Viale Aventino is Elleniko where you can get Greek specialities to take away - the fresh pitta bread are especially delicious.

We watch twilight descending over Circo Massimo ........

....... then make our way back to the apartment, picking up pizza for dinner on the way.

Italian 'fast food' at its best.

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