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Green grass.....in January!

bestcloister.jpg

This photo is of the cloisters inside Rome's San Giovanni in Laterano, taken on a cool but sunny January day.

I wasn't extremely impressed with the basilica itself, but thought the cloisters were charming (if a bit worse for wear.) I couldn't believe how green it was, even in January. And a bit cold, I have to admit.

San Giovanni in Laterano is also known as the Basilica of St. John Lateran and is the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, of which the Pope is bishop. The Catholic Church has named it "The Mother of All Churches" and the cathedral has been dedicated to Christ, and to Sts John the Baptist and John the Evangelist.

Apparently, San Giovanni is the first cathedral of Rome, where Emperor Constantine allowed the Pope to set up the Episcopal chair after 312. The Popes lived in the Lateran palace until Clement V (1305–1314) transferred the papal seat to Avignon. After the return of the Pope to Rome in 1377, the Vatican palace was chosen as the papal residence.

Comments (7)

Anne:

I do love cloisters! These do look charming. So far, in my very limited travels, my favourite cloisters are those of Chiesa di Ognissanti in Florence. I must post some photos - thanks for the inspiration!

Wonderful photo! I love cloisters and I don't really know why, but that looks like a particularly nice one. I love the mixed styles of those columns.

Yes, I was in Rome a couple of times in January and found it much warmer than Venice or Florence.

You have beautiful pictures. I'm really enjoying them. :)

OK, now I am really drooling to get there. Those columns are beautiful. Of course they remind me of breadsticks! I may have to go check them out in person!


I went to this church during the Jubilee year but somehow missed seeing the interior. I think it was closed. My interest in the area was to see the Holy Steps across from the church.

I remember being fascinated by how green the grass was in the Field of Miracle in Pisa in October. It was almost an emerald color. There must be something special about the grass in holy places in Italy.

Beautiful photo!

The cloisters are so beautiful. I love the columns. Now what exactly are cloisters?

Sandra:

Anne, cloisters really can be lovely, quiet and calm with plants and flowers. I haven't seen the Ognissanti cloisters in Florence, if you do have photos, I'd love to see them!

Annie, the mosaics and small sculptures were beautiful and somehow actually seemed more real because they were a bit worn and aged.

Maria and Leslie, I probably dwell too much on how green Rome was in January -- I was just so suprised! I knew the weather would be moderate but I didn't quite realize that that means, of course, that things don't become frost-damaged or frozen solid too easily. Still, I would like to visit Florence and venice in winter to see what they're like when they're less crowded.

I'm envious, Palma, you'll be in Rome at such a beautiful time. I just realized I haven't had good breadsticks in a long time and I didn't have gelato when I was in Rome in January. Disgraceful -- I'll have to make up for it next trip.

Girasoli, that's a good question! I've always assumed cloisters were associated with nuns and were a private place where they would be hidden from the world but still see some nature. But Wikipedia defines cloisters as being used in both convents AND monastaries, and usually feature covered walkways around an area open to the sky.


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