The sign on the burnt bakery in the ghetto basically says that it cannot make any of the usual things it does until after the Passover Holiday which it calls 'La Pasqua Ebraica' - the Jewish Easter.
They were making macaroons just like at home... and burnt as their other items usually are.
Next Door Neighbor
We learned today that the apartment next to us for the last ten years has been rented to a woman from Providence, Rhode Island named Carol who comes from January to March. She also owns a home on Martha's Vineyard. We have never met her since we normally come in April. This was the first time we have been here this early in many years.
On our long walks around Rome today we noticed that all of the Roma stores had huge lines. We found out that there were some Totti souvenirs being given out. Totti has been playing for the Roma soccer team since we arrived in Rome in 2004 and this was his last year.
Baths of Diocletian
We last went to the Baths of Diocletian in 2004 when we lived here for the Queen's sabbatical. We walk by it all the time and knew that they had been working on renovating it so we decided to stop in. The bath was the largest built in the ancient Roman period and occupied 32 acres and accommodated over 3000 people. You can get some sense of the size of the structures by this photo.
The Queen stands in front of a large vase on the grounds of the baths. It is a unique piece and only one other like it exists in front of the Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.
How could they possibly know what the rest of this piece of marble said?
There were many new examples of statues and sarcophagi.
Including this one labeled as Fastina's Sarcophagus which has Jewish symbols - a menorah, the Hebrew word Shalom and a shofar (ram's horn).
..and another one with a 7 branch menorah.
..and many large mosaic floors put up on the walls.
This is the stature you see in may depictions of Mithras who started a religion that in the 1st Century was as popular as Christianity. He is shown killing a bull by grabbing its nose and slitting its throat at the same time a scorpion is biting off the bull's genitals.
The outside courtyard had hundreds of marble statues.
In the 16th Century when Michelangelo designed the Santa Maria degli Angeli Church around the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian he also designed a cloister and gardens.
The gardens have these colossal animal heads that originally inside Trajan's forum. There are a ram, ox, horse, camel and bull.
Inside the church there is a meridian line that was placed there in 1702. It is similar to a sun dial except it tells the day of the year and not the hour. We have been there may times since we can take a short cut through the church to our apartment. We have never seen any sign of the meridionale working... except for this visit. We were obviously there on the right day and the right hour.
There is a hole punched above the arch to the right and in the middle of the mask.
We watched as the point of light moved to the meridian line.
Finally crossing at the day of the year. It is identified by the number of the day.