Philip was privileged to attend a two-day conference at the Vatican this past weekend. He was the last presenter to speak at the conference, and his talk went well. In his free time he got to see a lot of the sights of Rome; more than usual, because he had a German guide who has lived in Rome and knows the city very well. A lot of the trip felt like being home in Germany -- there were two German-language television stations on the television, Germany played Sweden in World Cup Qualifying action his first night there, and he went to anticipatory mass at Santa Maria dell'Anima, the German-speaking parish in Rome.
But it was not Germany, it was Rome. The Eternal City, where nothing works actually, but the people know how to live. He got to see the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine, the Roman Forum, St. Peter's (including going up in the dome), Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, St. John Lateran, Santa Croce, Piazza Navona, Chiesa Nuova, and Piazza Populi. He heartily enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of his hosts, and the unbelievably good Mediterranean food.