Pompei

If you’re an anglophone Catholic in southern Italy, in the modern city of Pompei is a nice place to go for confession in English (especially if you happen to get an African priest, who will be very sympathetic to your nostalgia for more exuberant displays of faith than you find in the typical Italian mass.) The modern and roomy confessionals, located in the complex behind the church, line a u-shaped corridor that overlooks a simple but pretty glassed-in garden. I imagine it provides a peaceful setting conducive to examining your conscience if you don’t happen to be chasing after a toddler intent on leaving a trail of raisins on the white marble floor.
Bell tower and Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pompei

Bell tower and Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Pompei

The basilica, built in the late nineteenth century and expanded in the 1930s, is a site of pilgrimage, housing a venerated image of the Virgin at its main altar. Visiting the site is worthwhile for anyone interested in popular religious devotion, as thousands of ex-votos are displayed throughout the church and sanctuary complex.
Trumpeter angel, bell tower

Trumpeter angel, bell tower

Part of the piazza in front of the church is given over to a well-tended green park with fountains and a reflecting pool, the low walls of which are the perfect height to allow toddlers very quick access to the water if their parents are not on high alert.

Pata (with raisins) at the reflecting pool

Pata (with raisins) at the reflecting pool

(Fortunately, I knew just what that intense gaze meant, and we all stayed dry.)

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3 responses to “Pompei

  1. Confession in English by an African priest in Pompei. It doesn't get better than that. And HA! I knew exactly what you meant by that gaze too. I've seen it a hundred times… but we haven't always stayed dry. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I never realized that there was actually a modern area of Pompei.

  3. I've had to become an expert in that gaze, Barbara! Well, Gil, the scavi are so extensive and extraordinary that it's easy to see why they overshadow the modern town. I'm not sure how large it is, and besides the sanctuary, I don't think there are other attractions.

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