Rome – Day 3-4: Anniversary and guts

First, just a nice image from the new camera I am using. The photos are great, but it is a little clunky to get them from the camera to the blog in a timely manner.


One of my errands on this trip involved the acquisition of tassels for the dalmatics of the Roman vestments we have back in Madison.

I decided on these, which will go with every color that we have.   Each dalmatic, at this point only for the deacon and subdeacon, will have four, two that hang down from the shoulders and two more that cross the back and hand down in the middle.  Eventually I’ll get some for the assisting deacons.


My bonsai tree guys in the Via dei Coronari!  HERE

Here is a shot from the chapel immediately behind the tomb of St. Philip Neri on my anniversary of ordination.   The vestment is one of 12 that were made at the time of the canonization of the saint.  One of them is on St. Philip’s body now.


At the altar in his rooms (upstairs – where it is no longer possible to say Mass – a ridiculous decision by the Oratorians) there is a piece of his precordium.

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One of the benefits of Rome on the Feast of St. Philip Neri: strawberries!

These are the little “forest strawberries”, about as big as the end of your finger.  They are, right now, perfect.   Here they are dressed with a touch of lemon and sugar.


Every restaurant should have a table full of fish.


Vitello tonnato, good for a hot day.


This was interesting.   It is a kind of caccio et pepe, but with mentuccia and black truffle.


Along the street with lots of clerical shops.    Wow… no… just…. no.

We had a private tour of San Clemente from one of the Dominicans who is a reader here.   He gave us a great visit and showed some things that people don’t generally get to see.  Alas, I can’t post photos of a lot of it.  But here is a shot of the courtyard in front of the basilica, which is much like the most ancient church’s courtyard.


Here is an amazing shot from a balcony.


And here’s another shot during supper with the same priest.  I was pleased to find rigatoni con la pajata, which involves veal intestine.  Yum.  This is a Roman classic.

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Meanwhile, I’ve had meetings with the Commandant of the Swiss Guard and Card. Burke, and a wonderful anniversary supper with about a dozen friends at Lo Scarpone on the Gianicolo, which concluded with cigars.

I’ll keep those to myself.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    How beautiful! Everything…..

  2. Royse87 says:


  3. Semper Gumby says:

    Great pictures. One wonders with Fr. Z having an excellent sojourn in Rome that he may decide to transfer his flag there.

    And was that scissors I saw on one plate? That is a sure sign of an Adventure in Fine Dining.

    Pray tell Fr. Z: how are Cdl. Burke and the Commandant of the Swiss Guard doing these days?

  4. RWG says:

    Wonderful photos Father, thanks for the vicarious tour of Rome. I feel like I’ve almost been there.

  5. Gratias says:

    Love the food pictures.

    The Basilica of San Clemente is a spectacular church that has three levels. The lowest one goes back to the times of the earliest Church. It is simply amazing and most tourists miss it when in Rome.

    Keep teasing us dear Father Z.

  6. Eric says:

    I looked up “Precordium.”

    “The part of the body comprising the epigastrium and anterior surface of the lower thorax. ”

    I still have no idea.

  7. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    I tired Wikipedia and following the link to “Commotio cordis” – which brought me to a possibly useful illustration.

    Having (thanks to New Advent) also looked up the old (1911) Catholic Encyclopedia article, “St. Philip Romolo Neri”, by C.S. Ritchie, I am inclined to suppose a precordial relic has especially to do with what (in the third paragraph) he calls “the well-known miracle of his heart”, with a detailed description, including the results of an examination of his body after death, 51 years later.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Father, wonderful to see so fine and fresh-looking a 396-year old vestment in use (how wonderful to wear?)! “One of them is on St. Philip’s body now” – of which his Wikipedia article has a fine half-length close-up! (Quite a contrast with “Wow… no… just…. no”…)

  9. Fr. Pius, OP says:

    It was a pleasure to have you at San Clemente and give you a tour of our humble little church. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The excavations under San Clemente are a real treasure. I would be most glad to join you anytime in Rome for ancient excavations and veal intestines. Buon pellegrinaggio.

  10. robtbrown says:

    My prof for archeology, Paul Lawlor, lived at San Clemente and took us on a tour of the lower levels, including a dig where he was working. If I remember correctly, the tools he was using were about size of a tablespoon and small pancake turner. Seeing them extinguished any notions I might have had about being an archeologist.

  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Did you end up assisting a bit, to enjoy some of the peculiar satisfactions without opting for being an archaeologist? (I’m quite out of touch, so things may have changed, but it seemed like archaeologists always used to be looking for volunteers, so, if you feel a tug at your heartstrings, there may be an opportunity…)

  12. robtbrown says:


    I was taking a full schedule at the Angelicum and had no time. Even if I had had the time, I probably wouldn’t have assisted. The findings of archeology are interesting, but digging with a spoon for hours to find a piece of pottery is not.

    I was, however, present at a performance of Don Giovanni that was held in the cortile of San Clemente

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