Rome Celebrates Two Patron Saints. . .

St. Peter’s Basilica located within the Vatican City
St. Peter Holding the Keys to Heaven
 
Rome celebrates its two patron saints, St. Peter and St. Paul, each year on June 29th.  According to legend, the two were martyred in Rome on the same day in 64 AD, although at different places.  They were martyred for teaching Christianity.  St. Peter, known as the first Pope by the Roman Catholic Church, was crucified.  St. Paul, being a Roman citizen, was beheaded by sword (because he was a Roman citizen, he was not allowed death by crucifixion).  Also according to legend, it is said St. Peter’s Basilica is built over the burial site of St. Peter.  
 
Each year Rome honors and remembers the saints with the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.  It is a public holiday in Rome, and a holy day of obligation in the Roman Catholic Church.  Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to conduct a Papal Mass at the Vatican’s Basilica on Wednesday, June 29th at 9:30 AM, in honor of the holy feast day.   
 
If you are planning to be in the Eternal City on June 29th, keep in mind it is a public holiday in Rome, meaning many businesses are likely to be closed.  It’s also a perfect chance to catch a glimpse of the Pope if that is something on your to-do list.     

Grow your imagination and reach for the sky. . .

For children or for those who are a child at heart, Fireflies and Lanterns: The National Children’s Theatre Festival will take place in Rome from June 24th– 29th.  The aim of the festival is to bring children closer to theatre and theatre closer to children by stimulating their imagination and creativity.  Admission to the event is free, and is scheduled to take place at 9:30 PM each night at Villa Pamphili-Casa dei Teatri (Via Arco dei Quattro Venti).  For more information you can call +39 06 588 2034.

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Why Rome?

Everyone needs a little break. . .

Working hard for the money. . .
 
Oh my, what do you have under your dress, sir??
 
Resting those tired legs.  Even abandoning the tip jar to do so.  
 
…even the ‘Statue of Liberty’ in Piazza Navona.  😉  
 
Yeah, I’m not sure why the ‘Statue of Liberty’ is posing in a piazza in Rome, or why it’s silver and not green.  Just a little of what makes walking around in Rome so fun. . .you never know what you are going to see.  

 

A Land of Magic Coming Soon

Logo owned by Rainbow MagicLand
The much anticipated opening of the magical amusement park, Rainbow Magic Land, will take place on May 26, 2011.  The enchanted park, filled with fairies, castles, vikings and talking animals, will feature 35 rides, 28 restaurants and snack bars and 3 theatres, including one theatre with an ice skating rink.  The highlights of the park include several thrilling roller coasters with the only indoor spinning coaster in Italy, a raft ride, free fall tower, Pixie Village for the smaller children, a restaurant turned medieval castle where the whole family can have a magical lunch and several theatres to watch performances that will transport you away to delightfully enchanted and magical lands.  
Rainbow Magic Land is located in Valmontone, a short 30 km from Rome’s city center.  The park opens at 10:00am, but closing times vary from day to day.  View Rainbow Magic Land’s official website for specific details and ticket pricing (in Italian).  You can also view the park’s brochure in English here.

I’m looking forward to the opening in a few weeks.  Can’t we all use a little more magic in our lives?

Parco dei divertimenti Rainbow MagicLandTra i parchi divertimenti in Italia, Rainbow MagicLand è unico: il parco divertimenti del Lazio offre attrazioni emozionanti e atmosfere magiche.

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Why Rome?

The Beatification of Pope John Paul II


The Beatification of Pope John Paul II is scheduled to take place at the Vatican on May 1, 2011.  An estimated two million visitors are expected to visit Rome for the ceremony and events.  There are a series of events scheduled to take place over the span of three days. . .April 30th, May 1st and May 2nd.  The Vatican has declared all ceremonies and events to be free of charge.  I repeat, you will NOT need to purchase a ticket or reserve your place in order to take part in any of the events relating to the beatification.  

The schedule of events announced by the Vatican are as follows:

  • Saturday, April 30th ~ A prayer vigil will be held in Circus Maximus from 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm.  The vigil will be led by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, and Pope Benedicte XVI will participate via live video feed from the Vatican.

    • After the vigil in Circus Maximus, eight churches in the city center will open at 11:00 pm, and will remain open throughout the night for a night of prayer.  The churches are as follows:
      • St. Anastasia (near Circus Maximus)
      • St. Bartholomew (Tiber Island)
      • San Marco (Piazza Venezia)
      • Church of the Gesù (Piazza del Gesù)
      • Sant’Andrea della Valle (Piazza Vidoni – Corso Vittorio Emanuele)
      • Sant’Agnese in Agone (Piazza Navona)
      • Chiesa Nuova (Via del Governo Vecchio – Corso Vittorio Emanuele)
      • St. John of the Florentines (Via Acciaioli, near San Pietro)
  • Sunday, May 1st ~ Pope Benedicte XVI will officiate the Beatification Ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at 10:00 am.  There will be an hour of preparation in which the faithful may pray together the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  For those unable to enter the square, there will be large video screens displayed throughout the area.  After the ceremony, the remains of Pope John Paul II will be displayed for viewing inside St. Peter’s Basilica in front of the Altar of the Confession.  Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to view the Pope’s remains as there is not a set ending time for the viewing.  The viewing in the basilica is said to remain open until the last visitor enters, although keep in mind this could be a very long wait.
      
  • Monday, May 2nd ~ There will be a Thanksgiving Mass held in St. Peter’s Square at 10:30 am, to end the ceremonies.  It will be led by Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone. There will also be musical performances provided by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, Choir of Warsaw and the Wadowice Symphony Orchestra of Poland.  
     


Another thing to note, in honor of the Beatification of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican Museum will have special extended hours.  On April 26th – 29th, and May 2nd, the Vatican Museum will be open from 7:00 pm – midnight, with last admission at 10:00 pm.  You will not be able to reserve tickets or make reservations for the extended hours.

If you will be one of the many visitors to beautiful Rome during this time, please be mindful that the city’s population will double in just a matter of days.  This being said, try to plan in advance.  If you plan to take in any of the many other sites throughout Rome, go ahead and reserve your tickets for any museums or archeological sites you would like to visit, if at possible.  Hotels will also be full.  If you do not already have a room reserved, try to do so immediately.  The public transportation (trains, trams, metros, buses, taxis) will likely be overfull since there will be around two million extra people using the already crowded services, so you will also want to wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes as you might have to do a good bit of walking around the city.

Also, I mentioned earlier that the Beatification ceremonies and events do NOT require tickets or reservations.  The events scheduled by the Vatican will be FREE and open to the public during these three days.  Unfortunately, there will be some people out to try to make a quick buck and profit from this religious event by ‘selling tickets’.  Please be aware and do not fall for any of the scams.  Other than that, enjoy your time in the beautiful (yet crowded) Eternal City.      

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Why Rome?