Since leaving Greece two weeks ago we have been touring Italy, mostly visiting small, walled Tuscan villages. The countryside was beautiful! We also spent 4 days in Rome, with short visits to Florence, Naples and Capri. Pompei was quite impressive; Rome’s forum & colosseum were quite subdued after the Acropolis.
Listening to a sung mass from the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica was a highlight, moving me to tears. I was blessed by a priest there; then I blessed my mother. St. Paul calls all Christians “priests,” and our best work is to bless others, so I was pleased to fulfill her request for a blessing (prompted both by her open faith, and the fatigue after two hours at the Basilica that prevented her from taking another step). But my best blessing was to meet family in Italy, on my mother’s first visit to Europe, and my sister’s second in over twenty years. We planned our trips to overlap in Tuscany.