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Chapter Nineteen

Day 52

Easter Saturday

Had a lazy start to day and a long lie-in. Then a good tidy up before going to the supermarket opposite for a bit of shopping. We take the scooter into Rome and take a drive around the city before parking up at the side of the river and walking up towards the Piazza Spigna where there are lots of people out enjoying the sunshine and the sights. We stop off at a cafe and watch the crowds milling by for a while before returning to the campsite for our evening meal. A day for recharging our batteries!

Day 53

Easter

Up early today, but we don’t have to join the queues waiting for the bus as we take the scooter into Rome along the very quiet streets, no dodging the traffic today. We are luck to be able to park very close to the Vatican and there are already throngs of people queuing at the entrance to St.Peters square. We take our seats, from which we have a very good view and sit chatting to those around us in the sunshine. Next to us are two young nuns from Mexico, excitedly hanging their flag from the barrier, and a nun from the U.S.A tells us of the many times that she has visited Rome in the past. Just behind us are a German couple from Munich and on the other side of us there are American and Japanese students, so we are quite an international bunch. We watch the people filing in and taking their seats, some of them are wearing the traditional costume of their country most of which are very colourful and show the pride that they have for their country, there is a lovely, jovial feeling in the air. The altar stands at the top of the steps and is surrounded by wonderful flower displays, mainly white and yellow it must take so much time to get all this ready but it is worth it as it is really beautiful. Just like last weeks mass there is a ripple of excitment as the Pope first comes out and people try to get further forward to get a better view of him, all around the cameras are flashing away for those precious photos to show to those at home unable to come.

Pope Benedict says the mass and the large screens around St.Peters square can be seen by all, even the many people who fill the street surrounding the square who were unable to get into the seated area. Afterwards the Pope appears on the balcony to give his Easter Blessing. He wishes everyone a very Happy Easter in many, many languages, cheers go up from the crowds as he speaks in their tongue, it shows just how very clever he is and how much time he must have taken to prepare for this mass. As the celebrations come to an end the crowds start to file out, quite a few people stay seated to wait while the crowds die down a little but the Italian Police have other ideas and are a little cross with those who want to take their time! So out we all went, but nothing can dampen our happiness at having been part of this Easter Sunday mass, a lifetime ambition fullfilled and a memory to cherish for ever.

We are leaving Rome this afternoon and so we make our way back to the Campsite to get ready to leave. We have to make our way slowly up north as we have to be in Nice by Friday to pick up one of our group who is flying in. We set off late afternoon after enjoying a lovely Easter lunch and of course a few chocolate eggs.

We are staying off the motorways again so that we can enjoy the countryside. Following the signs for Viterbo we pass the Lago di Bracciano and the scenery starts to get a little bit more hilly. We have heard that the village of Vitorchiano has an Area di Sosta (Camperstop) , this lies just north of Viterbo and we make our way there. The Village is perched quite high up on some rocky cliffs and the main road is narrow but we make our way along and follow the signs.We are met by a parking place totally deserted just outside the village and looking back at it across a gorge it did not feel right and we made our way back to the other side where we found the sports centre it was supposed to be next to. Again no motorhomes here so we had a cup of tea a piece of our Colomba (Italian Easter cake) and carried on our way. We might as well put a few more more miles behind us as we want to visit Cortona tomorrow morning. A service station on route provides a decent stop-over for tonight.

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