Several weeks ago I began a journey to explain why I am so in love with the city of Rome. I began with an article defending it against common criticism that can be found here. Now I would like to begin my series that breaks down my infatuation piece by piece, hoping that in the end all that have followed along with at least give some grace to the city that holds my heart prisoner.
One of the most handsome men I have ever laid eyes on was a Roman priest.
I could hear the authoritative clicking of his dress shoes on the cobblestone path behind me. I turned and could not help but stare as he gracefully, yet somehow seductively, passed by me on that narrow street.
I felt guilty and I’m not even Catholic.
Thus began my introduction to the Catholic essence in Italy. While today 90% of Italians report being of the Catholic faith, less than 1/3 of those actually prove it by attending mass. Even with such a low overall attendance and participation rate, the faith is visible on almost every corner of Rome. From the nuns on the street to the ‘pope shop’ by the Pantheon. I even once purchased a calendar featuring 12 of the finest men in cloth. A priest pin-up of all things.
Over the years I have attended masses and I never miss a visit to St. Peters. I can be found on any given day obsessively stalking nuns with my camera.
The Catholic faith, while still much a mystery to me, is a subtle element that draws me into Rome.
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Copyright 2012 Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel
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