Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Pilgrimage to Rome, the Seven Churches, and Italian Men

Via Rome Art Lover: The Seven Basilicas in a 1588 Guide to Rome:
Antoine Lafrery's map of the Seven Churches: (in red) 1) S. Pietro; 2) S. Giovanni in Laterano; 3) S. Maria Maggiore; 4) S. Croce in Gerusalemme; 5) S. Paolo fuori le Mura; 6) S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura; 7) S. Sebastiano and 8) S. Maria del Popolo. The numbers in blue indicate other churches and monuments: 9) Castel Sant'Angelo; 10) Isola Tiberina; 11) S. Pietro in Montorio; 12) Piramide di Caio Cestio and Monte Testaccio; 13) S. Paolo alle Tre Fontane; 14) SS. Nunziata; 15) Cecilia Metella and Circo di Caracalla"

". . .Filippo Neri, a Florentine preacher who had just been ordained, on the Thursday before Lent in 1552, invited the Romans to join him on a pilgrimage to the Seven Churches, instead of attending the Roman Carnival. The pilgrims stopped at the churches to listen to sermons and during the procession they chanted: Vanity of Vanities! All is Vanity!. The initiative met with great success and over the years it became a must for the pilgrims who came to Rome. In 1575 Antoine Lafréry printed a map of the City highlighting the location of the churches (all of which are designated as basilicas). The map was engraved by Etienne Duperac.

This time next week, Nathaniel and Emma will be in Rome with Fr. Stanich and a group of 17 or so "jam sessioners". One of the highlights of their trip will be making the traditional pilgrimage to the Seven Churches of Rome, an all-day walk.

Their tentative schedule is: Assisi June 29th, June 30th, July 1st, Sienna/Florence July 2nd, July 3rd, Rome July 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (a trip to Subiaco will be on one those days).

Interestingly, I came across this pleasant description of Italy in Man of Steel and Velvet:

There are some men who are more attentive than others. The Italian men are known to be so, and the women love it. Women who have not seen this masculine attention so lavishly given are especially impressed when they visit Italy. The Associated Press carried a release from Rome under the title "Women Defend Wolves." It seems that Italian officials were going to take action against the sidewalk Romeos when the American Women's Club of Rome resisted the action. They said, in part:

"An American woman is accustomed to walking the street as if invisible. The fact that Italian men aged 17 to 80 will, without exception, turn their heads at her passing, is a thing of wonder and joy. It may take a bit of getting used to, but it is an adjustment women are happy to make. the Italian attitude is the important thing. If you're a woman, you're worthy of admiration. . . .It's so charmingly un-American."

Italian men also use elaborate language. "Never have I seen anyone more beautiful than you," or "You make the whole world like sunshine," they can say with ease, as though they were speaking about the time of day.

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