ROME DAY 1: Cleaning, clerical shops, and cardinalatial gear

Another days dawns.  I brought a portion of my curial calendar along with an old backing.  My calendar informs me that today, in Rome, that sunset is at 18:50, and the Ave Maria is at 19:00.

The morning of the first full day found me heading early to the shops to get, inter alia, cleaning stuff.   The apartment I am in was not my first choice.   The far better choice got cancelled out from under my just a few days before I was to arrive, which added to my stress levels.   In any event, I am doing some cleaning here at the monolocale non-immacolato.  I have saved photos for before and after.  A little each day and I’ll have the place in order.   Frankly, they ought to be paying me.

But I digress.  Once some cleaning was accomplished, it was time to head for some food stuffs.  To the Campo!

This lovely madonna is at the corner, above where I shot the above and next to the great bakery which changed Nancy Silverton’s understanding of bread.

To wit.

Some things you don’t see often in stores back home.

I had business to do at Gammarelli.  Through the Navona, where so many Christian martyrs died.  Probably more here than at the Colosseum.  In the church at the middle, one of those dedicated to the important saint of the Roman Canon, you find the skull of St. Agnes, virgin and martyr.

I brought to Gammarelli a chalice veil for the gold silk Pontifical set.  We hope we can match the fabric and have an antependium and gremial made.  Then to Barbiconi, which does better in matters of shirts, etc.

Someone asked me what, if anything, the guys at Gammarelli thought of the new batch of cardinals.   They, and rightly so, are discreet.  You want your tailors to be discreet.  However, in the window, we have a bit of a statement.   Note that, on the left, you see what Cardinal Burke wore when he came for Mass.

Perhaps this will inspire a new generation of rigid, psychologically disturbed priests (read: unintimidated and doctrinally sound).

You would not believe some of the undiplomatic things young priests here, and older too, are saying in reaction to Francis’ remarks about young priests in cassocks and saturnos.  And one of the shopkeepers in the clerical row near the Pantheon said that saturnos are saucering out the doors.

Speaking of diplomacy, in the left is the Pontifical Academy where clerics destined for nunciatures are trained.  In the center, the backside of the Pantheon and one of the 13 Egyptian obelisks with the little elephant by Bernini and Co.  The elephant’s rear points to the door of what was once the Dominican residence next to Santa Maria sopra Minerva (out of view).  This place eventually became the first North American College before the whole shebang was transferred to the Gianicolo hill.

You can tell what is most heavily in demand by young and older clergy alike by what is in the windows of the clerical shops.  In this particular shop, back in the day, the window was always a little “out there” with lots of stuff by Slabink, etc.   They pushed modern, even though the trend was back to traditional.  They seem to be throwing in the towel in the face of market forces.

I do enjoy these “NO DUMPING!” signs.   Get caught, 10 gold scudi and maybe other penalties besides.

Mass was at Ss. Trinità in the evening.  If you are around in Rome, I’ll probably be there in the neighborhood of 6PM for Mass, depending on the varying circumstances of the sacristy.

Supper, after a long day.  It’s a three-milk Robiola from a stand in the Campo that does organic stuff.

Today, lunch with a friend and a meet up with a tailor.

BTW… I want to bring up a project with all of you.  Ss. Trinita needs something.  More on that later.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Those lovely beans can be bought from Johnny’s Seeds online. They look to me like ‘Flambos’, or maybe the ‘Dragon’s tongues’.
    Says Jacque, “Hoppy cookeen”.

  2. Gab says:

    Zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto and fried in a light batter…yummmm!
    Really enjoy your travelogues, Father Z, but now I’m hungry!

  3. ZestyLemonZach says:

    Are you going to be attending LifeSite’s round-table today?

    [They ignored me. I’ll have other things to do.]

  4. What is the significance of the green/black decorations on the saturnos?n

    [A bishop would wear one with green, cardinal with red.]

  5. iamlucky13 says:

    “And one of the shopkeepers in the clerical row near the Pantheon said that saturnos are saucering out the doors.”

    It seemed I am only capable of envisioning this phenomenon in black and white, with the saturnos styled like the spaceships from Earth Versus the Flying Saucers.

  6. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    Thank you for the photos. I’m glad that you had the chance to buy good Roman bread. Are artichokes already in season?

  7. teomatteo says:

    Father, the box of ‘blossoms’ reminded me of my late grandmother who was from Campobasso and she would batter dem bloss’ms and deep fry’m.

  8. LeeGilbert says:

    Next best thing to being there. Thank you for these photos . . . . Um, isn’t that elephant making a rude gesture with his trunk? Not in the pic, but as I recall . . . It had something to do with dissing the Inquisition, no?

  9. Mariana2 says:

    Thanks, Father!

  10. Kevinbell says:

    My wife and I spotted this exact ensemble in Gammarelli’s window three weeks ago. I remarked on the fact that it hadn’t been standard choir dress since the 60s and that because it was in the window some cardinal must have bought it recently. Little did I know!

  11. The Cobbler says:


    Perchance that explains how His Holiness sees said headgear?

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