During our second week in Rome, we went on several site tours that gave us insight into the religious past of the city. On Tuesday, we visited the Church of Santa Prassede and saw some beautiful medieval mosaics commissioned by Pope Paschal in the 9th century. After arriving at the church in the morning, all of us had time to explore the many beautiful and historic parts of the church, adding to the discussion of Pope Paschal we had on Tuesday.
We were also able to see a very ornate mosaic chapel dedicated to Paschal’s mother, called the San Zeno Chapel. The church itself was free, but you had to pay a few coins to light up the mosaics, which was very worth it.
On Thursday we had more adventures in medieval Italy, this time on a trip to Subiaco! We visited the monasteries of Santa Scholastica and San Benedetto, both part of the Benedictine order founded in the 6th century. Subiaco is located about 40 miles outside of Rome, providing a peaceful and contemplative atmosphere that monks have been using for centuries. We received a tour of both monasteries, showing us the beautiful frescoes and sculptures that tell stories from the bible and of prominent medieval Christian figures.
We got lucky with some beautiful weather on our trip to Subiaco, allowing us to fully appreciate the views provided by the monastery!