Day Eleven

Today we had presentations including Piazza Navona and the Catacombe di Priscilla On the way I managed a couple of self portraits in the security mirror on the bus and took a shot of this dog poking his head through the railings of what can only be a shop where they make carousel horses. This little doggy really made me miss Rocky, but I know that he is having a blast down on the farm and is getting plenty of love from Joanne and Trudi. I have never been in any catacombs before but have watched several shows about them on the history channel and am always fascinated by how far they sprawl beneath these old European citites. Rome has hundreds of miles of tunnels dug by the christians as burial grounds for their dead. The catacomb system we were in today stretched for 13 km and is home to 40,000 burials. It was cold, damp and dark, like a good catacomb should be. It twisted and turned through the carved out tufa. The walls are marked in various ways, including old christian symbols, my favorite being the anchor, of course. Other markings probably qualify as graffiti, people leaving their names and the date. I saw one from 1790, one from a scholar who used to study the catacombs, marked 1861, and some more recent from American soldiers during the war. I saw the states of Texas, Oklahoma and the city of Boston next to their names. Most of the tombs had been emptied to protect them from the visiting tour groups, however some were still sealed, including some tiny little infant tombs. At one point we even saw a skull in one! No photos were allowed so I snagged one from a resource at the Vatican.....it was very spooky down there....

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