Roman Holiday

We had been planning on taking a trip to Egypt and Greece when daddy had leave in March. Well, with the way things are unstable in Egypt and not so solid in Greece, either, we decided to take our week-long Homeschool field trip to Italy instead. We spent 5 days in Rome, then one near Pompeii, drove down the Almalfi coast, and went to Orvieto. And then we went home early because we were done and would rather fly all night and have a day to recover than fly some of the night and hit the ground running.
I was ready to go home. The more I travel, the more I just want to be at home. These are just some of the photos I took – you can see all the ones that were worth keeping here.

Rome is a beautiful, but crowded city. We weren’t even there in summer and some places were packed. We saw the same things most tourists saw – but I think we saw it with a different perspective than most people.
Instead of greatness – we saw crumbling stone.
Instead of well-preserved cities – there are empty shrines – their gods could not help.
Instead of entertainment – there is the blood of the martyr and the damned alike.
Instead of church buildings – there is idolatry of Mary, and church leaders who out did one another just like the Caesars, and syncretism with pagans.
Instead of Maximus – there is a field.
Instead of new things – there is nothing new under the sun; all is vanity.

Churches around every corner.

This was one of the most interesting things we saw. I found it highly interesting which one was missing, due to the fact that Catholic churches are so full of statues and stained glass and pictures of ‘Jesus.”

“Life is real,
Life is earnest,
Dust thou are,
to dust returnest
was not spoken of the soul.”

we ate a LOT of pizza.

Benefit #23404 why it’s better not to drink coffee: hot chocolate.

We were waiting for a tour guide for the Vatican, and there were pretty trees in bloom and a pretty building behind them.


In St. Peter’s Square, a really beautiful place.

Beautiful colors everywhere

The view from Castel de Sant’Angelo.

Colosseum. The cross was set up in memory of the Christians who were martyred in the Colosseum.

The Forum: layers of civilization.

One of the Vestal Virgins. Her inscription was destroyed, probably because she converted to Christianity.

What remains of the glory of the Circus Maximus. The glory of Rome is rubble.

this was a beautiful church. The perspective in the paintings on the ceiling made it look higher than it was. AND the second time we went (the first day it was closing when we got there) there was a lady playing the organ, which was SO beautiful. But in all of the churches, it was rather saddening to see how gaudy they were and how the nakedness of the pagans was often still present in the churches. But we (especially Candace) learned a lot about Catholicism, and the architecture and artwork was beautiful, though often flawed in theology.

You weren’t allowed to take pictures in the Catacombs, but that was probably my favorite place in Rome and definitely one of the most powerful, especially thinking of the martyrs and the times of trial where the Christians would meet for worship and the breaking of bread surrounded by those who had gone on to glory ahead of them.

The Pantheon.

Another favorite place in Rome: Piazza Navona. Full of artists, buskers, and street performers.

BEST PANINIS IN ROME. After being hungry all the time and over-charged for food, we were delighted to find a hole-in-the-wall panini shop that was a really good price and he stuffed them full and they were DELICIOUS. We walked everywhere and so we were hungry almost all the time (especially since an Italian breakfast is a pastry and coffee). But as mommy said, food is cheaper than a car and gas. 😉

“Am I hungry? is the Pope Catholic?”

Spanish Steps with storm clouds gathering.

We took a walk to an Etruscan museum in beautiful Spring weather, after eating Gelato.

Right after this we had an adventure. We went to a church that had a Gregorian Chant thing going on that evening. We had the impression that it was a performance. Turns out it was actually Vespers and people were expected to sing along. So the man in front of us kept turning around and pointing to his book of the words to show us where we were…

We had enough of tourists at the Vatican so we skipped Pompeii (and its perversity) and went to Herculaneum instead. Herculaneum was also destroyed by Vesuvius (see the volcano in the background?) but is better preserved because it was buried.


The shrines are empty; the city is destroyed. What have your gods done for you? “The gods of the nations are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens!”

Considering that it was Italy, I was expecting the food to be even better than it was. These were SO yummy, though.

The next day we drove along the coast. It was a beautiful drive and we enjoyed listening to Jonathan Park and Kevin DeYoung and Vision Forum Faith and Freedom Tour… but the switchbacks and my stomach did NOT get along. But my stomach picked a strategic time to get really sick. It knew there was delicious food right around the corner.

Benefit # 49201 of not drinking coffee: fresh-squeezed lemonade.

This is Sorrento. We didn’t go to it but just seeing it made me so excited. 🙂

Looking down on Naples from Mt. Vesuvius.

At the crater!

We visited a friend who’s studying art in Orvieto, a beautiful little hilltop town.

The duomo.

there it is!

And then we said farewell to Italy, and “I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…”

Pro Christo,


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