Just to catch you up on what I’ve been doing.

Although I transferred the flag to Rome this morning at Oh-Dark-Hundred…


… I wanted to catch up with the few pics and news about what has been going on.

On Sunday, after some time with Fr. Finigan at Blackfen, we went off to Chistlehurst to sing Vespers for the Feast of the Dedication of their parish church.  This is the place where the late Michael Davies is buried.  He was a real gentleman.


Afterwards we priests went out for some supper and clerical talk.

The other day I met with friends at The Cork and Bottle near Leicester Square and had Ham and Cheese Pie.  Very good.  Extremely filling.  You might need only this meal in the course of the day.


After the super-hot spicy Chinese soup a few days ago, I went for some calmer, soothing soup with wontons and seaweed.  Good Jasmine Tea.


Dunno… I think I would prefer London Pride.

Great name, though.


Off to the National Gallery again.  Since the sickening loss of my commonplace book, and I wandering again in familiar galleries trying to reconstruct some of my thoughts and note them in a new edition.  Sigh.


This morning I set foot once again in the Eternal City.  That weird thing happened that always happens.  It is like a switch being clicked.  It is like I never left.

A dear friend picked me up at Fiumicino and brought me into town.  We went to lunch in the Borgo Pio at a place I like a lot.  On the board today was rigatoni con coda.  I had hoped to have room for the orata, too.  This was filling!


You can tell that I have switched mobile phones.  The photo quality is really bad.  I think I have dropped this phone too many times.


Tonight the conference on Augustine’s City of God begins at the Augustinianum with introductory remarks and then an address by my friend Prof. John Rist.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. fvhale says:

    Have a wonderful time in Rome! I am looking forward to some bucatini all’amartriciana next week.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z., Kiss the ground for me. I love Rome. If you have a chance, visit the Tyburn nuns near St Charles Hospital and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Still praying for your book to turn up. I am sure England will miss you. If you come to Eire, visit me et al. From phone.

  3. Edprocoat says:

    Fr. Z , I have noticed your travel posts show an equal share of pictures of food and beer compared to pictures of the places you go. I must say you have a good grasp of the finer things in life !


  4. benedetta says:

    Enjoy Roma, Fr. Z!

  5. But Father! says:

    Father, you kill me with your pictures of Real Ale.
    One of the few good memories of stressful messy business
    trips I made to London a decade ago.

  6. I wish you well in your time in the Urbs Aeterna. There is something about that city which makes it like no other … its fabric is redolent of deep historical consciousness and memory (in the Augustinian sense), connecting us to eternity almost sacramentally by the mediation of memory in physical form, in the cobblestones and ancient ruins and stone church walls, imbued with the fervent pilgrim prayers of millenia. Far from being cold and lifeless (as we often think stone to be), it seeps a fresh vitality, by breathing dampness, yet offering stability and even striking the spark of fire (to borrow from St. Hildegard of Bingen’s analogy of the Trinity to the properties of stone).

  7. Dorothy says:

    I hope you have a most fruitful visit, Father. I love Borgo Pio. We have stayed there three times: once in the Hotel della Conciliazione, and twice in an apartment. For me, some of the most charming memories are of stepping out into the street first thing in the morning, and going over the road to buy fresh bread. Happy times!

  8. akp1 says:

    I had the best meal (and service) on Borgo Pio too! Lovely street. Only discovered it on our last day in Rome last year.

  9. LorrieRob says:

    I look forward to Father Z’s commentary while in Rome. I returned just 2 weeks ago from my first visit to Rome… Traveling on my own spiritual pilgrimage to Rome, Florence and Siena. I converted to Catholicism 2 years ago from Anglicanism and before that the Episcopal Church. I wanted to walk where Peter and Paul walked…what an experience. Greatly deepened my understanding of the faith as has this blog… For which I am very grateful. And Mass at St Peter’s at the Altar of The Chair…with Bernini’s sculpture …wow!…as a religious sister from Suore Della Montagna said… I imagine that it might be something like that in Heaven…Rendiamo grazie a Dio!

  10. TNCath says:

    Oh, how I long for Borgo Pio every day! One of my favorite streets in Rome! Home to Tre Pupazzi, Roberto’s, il Papalino, Antonio and Rita’s Bar, the Hotel S. Anna, et al. I still miss Armando’s down the street as well. [Armando was a loss.]

  11. yatzer says:

    I just finished reading City of God on my Kindle. I had no idea it was so long, since it was not necessary to see the volume and it arrived in the usual flash. It was interesting how many characteristics of society then could be addressed now by what he wrote. I wish it were possible for me to listen to some of the presentations to give some context and a better understanding.

  12. Suburbanbanshee says:

    ScitoviasDomini — re: fire struck from flint stone, St. Hildegarde was riffing off some very ancient ideas about the Rock, particularly the Easter fire hymn “Inventor rutili,” which Prudentius wrote as a hymn for lamplighting time. I love her choice of three qualities, though!

  13. AnnAsher says:

    Ham and Cheese pie … I know some little people who would love that. I’ll have to give it a try.

  14. thereseb says:

    It was great to catch up with you on Monday, and a nice surprise to see you in fine voice on Sunday evening. I am sorry not to have said thank you, but you all scooted upstairs before I could. Did Anyone tell you that at the earlier Mass there was a “brick by brick” moment, with the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientam by the good Archbishop? And I spoke to the ecumenical choir after Vespers, and they were entranced by the ceremonial, and felt Benediction was a revelation. Did you know that Mrs Davies, Michael’s widow attended – I will pass on your remembrance, as it is Mr Davies’ eighth anniversary this week, and I am sure your thoughts will be appreciated.

    . May the road rise up to meet you..

  15. Laura98 says:

    I wish you a wonderful visit and journey in Rome (one place I have always wanted to see). May you enjoy your time and companions while you are there and have every blessing too. God Bless.

  16. iPadre says:

    One of my favorites on the Borgo is Roberto’s and his Rigatoni Norcina. Enjoy!

  17. Ignatius says:

    I am glad that the very English ham and cheese pie was ashed up by an Argentinean malbec.

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    Something to listen to while dreaming of the eternal city: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjWsW5QBYlc Pini di Roma by Ottorino Respighi.
    Wishing you a lovely time in Rome, Fr. Z.!

  19. templariidvm says:

    Bombardier is a great choice! One of the local stores carries it, so when I treat myself, I grab a bottle!

  20. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Best wishes in my favorite place on the face of the earth, Rome. What’s the name of the restaurant in the Borgo Pio? If you go there, it must be good! In general I’ve found the entire Vatican area a gastronomic disaster. The exception for me is Il Mozzicone dei F.lli POGGI, Borgo Pio 180. I always see seminarians there from the North American. There’s a good hotel in the same street at the Vatican end, Hotel Sant’Anna. I’ve stayed there twice, with pleasure.

    Please consider, Father, taking a group of Extraordinary Form folk on pilgrimage to Rome. [I think I would do such a thing, but I am simply not willing to do the work to organize it.]

  21. Simon_GNR says:

    Fr Z,

    I’m delighted to learn that you are developing a taste for English ale! I hope that on later visits to Britain you will be able to try many more different English beers. There are a huge number of small regional and micro breweries these days and an amazing range of different tastes. A large part of getting a good pint is in how the pub landlord keeps the casks of ale in the cellar: some pubs are much better than others in this regard. No doubt your British friends can recommend (and take you to) some good hostelries.

    Best of luck in Rome; and a safe journey back home to the USA.

  22. Michael_Thoma says:

    Going to Rome in a few weeks, PLEASE! tell me, what is your favorite Restaurants!

  23. Mary Jane says:

    Love Rome! Been there a couple of times. As strange as this may sound, I preferred to visit the small grocery stores and buy what food the locals do! They have yummy yogurts, cheeses, meats…and chocolate and fudge…MMM.

  24. Girgadis says:

    It was a year ago yesterday that we landed in Rome for a 10-day pilgrimage to important Augustinian sites throughout Italy. Our hotel was a converted convent and I must say one of the stranger sights was that of the soella who tended bar every night for the guests, in her habit.

    I hope you enjoy your trip, Father and that it’s not too warm.

  25. fvhale says:


    There are many restaurants, and depending on what, when and at what price, you can always find something to eat and drink.

    At the “snack” end of the spectrum are the wonderful breads and espresso at numerous bars for breakfast, the arancini and suppli at the tavola calda, and gelato.

    We always stay in the Aventine area on trips to Rome (quiet, modest prices, lots of religious houses and churches, including Santa Sabina, near to Metro, etc.), so my “favorites” are somewhat skewed to that location.

    As mentioned, one can just go grocery shopping and enjoy wonderful food. There is a “supermercato” around the corner from where we stay where you could buy almost everything you need, from fresh fruits, breads, cheeses, deli meats to tissues, toothpaste, etc.
    Nearby, on via Marmorata, is Volpetti, a somewhat pricey but amazing deli where you can sample wonderful food that will entice you to let go of your euros.

    Volpetti is on the edge of the Testaccio area of Rome, which used to be the butcher area, and, in ancient times the pottery district (hence the name). Pizzeria da Remo in the Testaccio area is a great place to try Roman pizza. If you want a more upscale meal with fresh fish, try Taverna Cestia near the pyramid–and it is a short Metro ride from there to St. Paul Outside the Walls.

    Across the Tiber on the Ponte Sublicio one enters the Trastevere area. On our last trip we had a nice dinner at Da Gildo a bit north of Santa Maria in Transtevere (a beautiful church). My favorite place for bucatini last year was a little unknown place on via Flaminia near Piazza del Popolo (not even on Google Street View!).

    Find your own favorite places!

    Also, we always drink the wonderful water coming from the many fountains in Rome. We just refill our water bottle throughout the day. One of my favorites is the “dragon fountain” on via della Concilliazione for those who need a drink on the way to or from St. Peters.


  26. Christophe says:

    Michael Davies was a great and magnanimous man. When is someone going to write his biography?

  27. frjim4321 says:

    Hope it was a good day.

  28. wanda says:

    Soak in all the wonders of the Eternal City, Fr. Z. Looking forward to hearing about everything.
    Refresh and recharge your batteries. Prayer for your safe travels and intentions.

  29. JimmyA says:

    Ristochicco, Father?

  30. TNCath says:

    Armando’s cannelloni was the best I’ve ever had in my life. I so remember seeing the Holy Father, then Cardinal Ratzinger, sitting in the corner, eating his fish and drinking an orange Fanta. One of those times was at lunch on June 29, 2001, his 50th anniversary as a priest. Later that afternoon, he celebrated the Pallium Mass for the ailing Blessed Pope John Paul II. Wonderful memories!

  31. PostCatholic says:

    Nice shot of St Martin’s in the Fields in your National Gallery shot. Two important Unitarian churches in the US (Arlington Street in Boston and All Souls in Washington DC) are essentially architectural copies of it.

    I’ll second the request for travelogues of Rome; I will be travelling in March to Genoa and I hope to get a day or so to visit Rome–and also hoping to get an idea of good things to eat in Italy.

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