Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 2011 travel posts - July 13 addendum

My group went out tonight for dinner at a trattoria just 2 or 3 blocks from our hotel. After dinner, I walked a few blocks further to mail a couple of postcards in St. Peter's Sq. The moon is full, and I have to say that I prefer St. Peter's by moonlight. The conjunction of religion and power that the great church represents troubles me, but moonlight softens the edges and cools the fire a little. By moonlight Roman Catholicism seems more the religion of Italians with an appreciation for and tolerance for human frailty and less the faith of German cardinals who insist on doctrinal exactitude.

On the way back to the hotel I got some gelato (which I ordered in Italian without using a single English word) and after I threw away the cup, I rinsed my hands in a stone fountain bearing the papal arms that was located by the side of the road. Just up the road, in front of another trattoria, a lone accordionist played "Somewhere over the rainbow," and I reflected on how Italians have mastered the art of living.