Day 7

**Written May 13th, 2009**

Today we got up early and crisscrossed town all day!

We left the hotel around 8:30am and took the metro to Termini, where we then took a bus to the Mausoleum of Santa Constanza  While we were there our professor pointed out all the 'pagan artwork' along the walls. 
Mosaic in Santa Constanza
It was interesting to hear how the Christians, whenever they brought Christianity to various people, didn't necessarily rip out all the old traditions. Instead they would merely put a Christianic spin on it, thus they could turn any pagan artwork into Christian artwork just by saying it was so.

Next we went to the St. Agnese Church (which had many beautiful paintings)
Inside St. Agnese
 then we went to St John Lateran.

The baptistry in St John Lateran was from the 14th century and at that time, it was the only baptistry in Rome so everyone went there to be baptized! We went into the central basilica, as well as the cathedral of the church, and to say that this place was big would be a gross understatement!
The Doors to St. John Lateran
Gigantic Statues of the 12 apostles lined the navel of St. John Lateran, and above each apostle lay a relief depicting some aspect of Christ's Life, and above that was a painting of one of the prophets from the Old Testament.
The entire Cathedral was dedicated to St Peter (I'm sorry, I can't remember which one), and the gold leafed ceiling was incredible (as well as the tiled floor)!

After leaving the Cathedral we went to St Mary's Basilica (where Bernini was buried) and gazed at the Arch of Triumph (the arch dedicated to the triumph of Christianity over paganism).

After all that we tried to visit The Catacombs  as a group, but it turns out they are closed on Wednesdays, which we didn't figure out until after we had taken the bus out there so we were stuck out on the outskirts of Rome for an hour until the next bus could come by and take us back to the city.

It was late when we returned to our hotel so we rushed through dinner and then collapsed in bed. On the upside, since Steve felt bad that we weren't able to get to the Catacombs we'll be getting some gelato tomorrow!

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