Rome’s Fascinating Basilica of San Clemente Reveals 2,000 Years of History

I descended 60 feet below Rome’s surface into a mysterious past I knew little about…

The ancient Basilica of San Clemente, named after Rome’s third pope, hardly drew my attention as I passed by on my walk from the Colosseum. I soon discovered that I had approached the basilica from the side by mistake, missing the grand entrance fronted by a small courtyard with palm trees.

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I had previously read about the basilica’s three levels of fascinating history, one church on top of another. The present 12th-century basilica was erected on the site of a previous church which had been buried for centuries underneath the level of the city streets.

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Easter Wishes

St. Peter's Basilica September 2014
St. Peter’s Basilica September 2014 Rome

My steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee begins to awaken me as I gaze out the window of my living room in Oregon. Sunlight brightens a blue morning sky and spills down over the valley, bringing life to the tall evergreens and farms that dot the rolling landscape. I can see the coastal mountains at the end of the horizon, standing like guardians over the great Pacific Ocean beyond.

My thoughts gather around another Easter several years ago when I happened to be in Greece while Easter was being celebrated in Italy. Afterward, I took a ferry-boat to Italy. A few days later Easter was being celebrated in Greece! So I can honestly say that I ‘missed’ Easter that year. Read my post Our ‘Passed-Over’ Easter.

Today I am happy to anticipate an Easter celebration with family at home while I plan for my next exciting adventure to Italy. I think about all of you, scattered around different parts of the world. I am thankful for each one of you. I hope that your Easter day is, was or will be a time of renewal, a time to be grateful, and a time to enjoy those around you. No matter where you are, it is a day to be cherished.

Easter Blessings, everyone!

Explore Ortigia, Sicily’s Città Vecchia

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The sun-splashed lungomare d’Ortigia is a sensual delight. Recently, I had made the drive to Ortigia from my lodging at Hotel Bosco Ciancio on the slopes of Mt. Etna to meet with my tour guide,  Marco Sanzaro. My goal was to discover the wonders of the island of Ortigia, the historical heart of the ancient Greek city of Syracuse on Sicily’s eastern shore.

As I walked the footpath that followed the waterfront, I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant green waters of the Ionian sea Read more