Day nine. Easter Sunday.
We bid farewell to our Roma Airbnb, and then went to Asian Delight for lunch. After stuffing ourselves with Filipino food, it was time to go to our last destination.
We never intended to be at the Vatican City on an Easter Sunday. In fact we didn’t realize that our road trip was on a Holy Week. Missing Cinque Terre and Verona due to problems with accommodations made it possible for us to include Pisa, Firenze, Roma and the Vatican on this road trip. Things may not have gone as planned, but this was definitely the better alternative.
The Vatican was not as crowded as we had expected. It turns out that a lot of people had already left after Pope Francis had an Easter Mass earlier in the day.
It was indeed a blessing to be at the Vatican at a time when the Porta Sancta is open. Porta Sancta or the Holy Door opens during the Jubilee or the Holy Year. The Jubilee occurs every twenty five years. Normally, this Holy Door is cemented shut. We entered Saint Peter’s Basilica through Porta Sancta. Inside, we were absolutely enthralled by everything in sight.
I named my son after Pope Saint John Paul II. My child was born on the year Saint John Paul II died, and at that time I never imagined that I would be able set foot at the Vatican. I was teary eyed when I walked with my son in front of Saint John Paul’s tomb. It was a surreal moment.
There was just no better way to end our road trip.
Soon, we were on the road again, only this time, we were headed back to Aviano, Italia.
The last week and a half was a crazy and beautiful ride. I agree with little brother, this road trip was definitely one for the books.