26 September 2013 Thursday – Giordano Bruno

Today was a “free” day, so we chose to do our own walking tour. We had a taxi drop us off at the statue of Giordano Bruno.

I wanted to get a photo of it because Bruno is one of my brother Joe's favorite authors. As I understand it, Bruno was burned alive at the stake by the Catholic Church because, among other things, he insisted that (as Copernicus said) the Earth traveled around the sun, rather than the other way around. Galileo Galilei also said the same thing, but he wasn't burned at the stake; he was just imprisoned for many years and forced to recant. So much for the church carrying on the message of Jesus, “Love your neighbor!”

Once at the statue, we sat at a restaurant and ate breakfast.

There was a local market set up around the statue, so we watched the people as we ate. After breakfast, we walked around the market and took photos.

From Bruno's statue, we went to the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem (Santa Croce).

Next, we walked back to the “Wedding Cake” again.

We encountered a few things we saw yesterday, such as the Pantheon, the Jewish district, and the stores with religious robes. We saw a shop that had the biggest bologna sausage I've ever seen.

This time we walked up the stairs to a square that was designed by Michelangelo.

Nearby was a statue of the she-wolf that forms the legend of the founding of Rome.

We took a few photos of the Roman Forum again, from up on that hill.

Then we continued on to the San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) church where they have Michelangelo's famous statue “Moses.”

The statue was beautiful, but the church had some weird decorations, like the sculptures of the angel of death.

It also contained a glass container that supposedly contained the actual chains that held St. Peter.

After seeing the Moses church, we walked back to the hotel, which wasn't too far. Still, we were very tired and our feet hurt. Mitzie and Skip were tired of seeing churches, so Kathy teased them. On Tuesday's tour, our guide, Marco, had said there were more than 350 churches in Rome (according to Wikipedia, there are more than 900), so Kathy told Skip, “We've seen about 5 churches now; only three hundred forty-five to go!) When we got to the end of the day, I quoted Julius Caesar, “Well, we came, we saw, we conquered.”