Our group of 19 is beginning to break up as we start this four-day optional extension in Rome. By tomorrow, five of us will have departed for home or other Italian cities. We had our last group dinner tonight. For the next three days we'll be on our own for meals. Which will actually be a good thing, since our group dinners have usually been multi-course feasts that I haven't finished.
Our tour guide will be with us until Friday. Tomorrow is ancient sites, I think, and then the Vatican, a recommended optional tour. I grew up Protestant but married a Catholic and converted. For over a decade I was a liturgical musician, but after my divorce in the mid-80s, the church didn't seem to know what to do with me. I stopped going. I was angry for a number of years, but gradually took a different spiritual path. On this tour I've visited a number of churches; the one that left its mark was the basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. I've come to an okay place with the Catholic church even though I have left it behind.
Usually I don't discuss this kind of subject in my blog, but it's been the most significant outcome of our Italy trip - and it wasn't something I either sought or expected.
I haven't posted many photos in the last few days. We've been in cities, where photos are tougher to take. And in most of the museums and churches no photos are allowed. I'll see what visits we make in the next few days.