Our primary reason to visit Rome was to attend Christmas Mass at St Peter's Basilica. The sculpture to the right is made of sand.
It was so spectacular, we visited the Vatican Museum twice
Visiting St Peter's Basilica is a jaw-dropping experience. No photograph or film can prepare you for the scale and glory.
St Peter's Square a couple of hours before Christmas Mass
Details like these were only appetizers for the Sistine Chapel
Numerous priceless works of art populate the Vatican Museum
Outside, the gulls probably don't appreciate the ethereal beauty
Of course, when in Rome, see Roman artifacts
Near the Colosseum, a few reminders of the glory that was ancient Rome
My favorite building in the whole world, the Pantheon
Look it up to appreciate the perfect proportions and engineering
This remarkably lifelike rhinoceros appeared to be a recent addition
The lovely Church of St. Ivo alla Sapienza
A restored fountain dedicated to books
Designed by Bernini, the Elephant and Obelisk is the base of the smallest obelisk of Rome
Artichokes are a very Roman food
Fractal forms of the Romanesco broccoli
A very playful golden retriever
Saying "hi" to the really big dog
Italians have wonderful uniforms
One signature of Christmas in Rome is the vast number of crèche, Nativity scenes, or precepe in Italian. They are always elaborate and often animated.
Our reason for being in Rome: Christmas Mass!
Heed the stern eyes of the Swiss Guard! The Mass was majestic, and better left unphotographed. The next day, we left Rome behind, but took with us amazing memories and experiences.