Five Days in Rome (Day 2)

This is the second of 5 short blogs describing my visit to Rome as part of the Northern Bridge Winter School.  If you'd like to start with Day 1, click here… 
Day 2 (Tuesday) dawned with a sky full of colours behind the screen window. 

I was so tired, I woke really early again, but with so much of a day ahead, how could you resist? Having learned yesterday that the library was open 24 hours, I got ready and decided to try to get some work writing done in this space.  There is something special about libraries like this… the smell is like a warm embrace. 


Oh god, that's a lot of hair spray. 


Breakfast happened after being chucked out of the breakfast room for being 4 minutes early and before the bell in the courtyard had been rung.  


I was tempted by this Nutella.  But I resisted. 


We got to tour the British School, encountering facilities in really great condition – a substantial lecture theatre, gallery space and facilities for the resident artists, archeologists and architects. (I feel bad not having a professional A nomenclature). 


Our morning was given over to a fascinating lecture given by Dr Katherine Baxter and Dr Neil Sadler on the nature and form of translation.  It opened up real food for thought about how translations are (always) a form of mediation and how the compromises and corruptions of texts have a sort of political power. 

In the afternoon, we visited the Venerable English College. 


It's an institution with a long history of providing a ‘Hospice' or place to stay for pilgrims who had undertaken the Via Francigena (8 free nights of room and board were provided) and, amidst an interesting history of the Reformation, French Revolution and Church engagement, became more fully a location for seminarians for the English and Wales Catholic Church to live. As a result, as our host Professor Maurice Whitehead outlined, the archives are a particularly rich source of original information with much materially totally unopened or catalogued since being stored in the Vatican during World War II.  


The space brought back a lot of memories from my time at the Irish College (Collegio Irlandese) about 25 years ago!  The sense of being in an institution, the idea of being separate (not in a good way) from the people going about their day to day life. 


Above is the college chapel (dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury). 


We had a really interesting talk from Maurice Whitehead… some of his stories sounded like the plot of a historical novel (some of them are tucked away in the back of mind for future reflection!)(


This is like a remake of the first (and only) time I met a Pope in real life! 


Emma, a fellow Northern Bridge student, who is on placement at the College, laid out some key pieces from the College archive. 


After a couple of hours, it was time to go and we had plenty of time for a nice ice cream (when in Rome!!)


We were to walk back in time for dinner at 8 (it's so nice when someone else cooks for you!), but there was a chance to stop off at the Pantheon en route. It's been a while since I visited there and I think I was last there with my mother.  


I could tell you the span of the roof and the distance from the opening to the floor are both 43 metres, but I'm not sure that's your thing! 


After a lot of lectures (all good, but a lot in short succession), it was fun to have some time to wander around. 


This is the obelisk in the centre of Piazza del Popolo. 


And here is Gary looking very happy to have made it back in one piece to the School! 


Hope all are well! 3 days to go! 


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