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Published: June 13th 2018
Last night we enjoyed a walking tour of Rome at night. I booked a Ghost Tour via VIATORS.com a world wise tour agency that offered local tours everywhere on everything you can imagine. Cathy and I took our tour bus and got off near the Vatican. We had a short walk to the meeting spot and sine it was 8:00 PM and the tour started at 9:15 we thought is a good idea to eat first. So we walked around a bit and came to a lovely small restaurant with tables in the street!
We were offered a Prosecco and OJ on the house and we ordered 2 plates of Pasta with Olive Oil and a caprese salad. To this we added a basket of bread and we dined al fresco as the cars skirted our table from less than 3 feet away! Cathy spotted a Mafiaso walking with his girl and two burly guards close behind. Only in Rome are the criminals protected so well.
After dinner we walked through side streets until we came to the meeting spot. Our guide and 8 others were waiting for us as we were the last to arrive. Giacomo, our guide
gathered us up and we were off. Down darkened winding streets we headed to our first stop, Fernese Plaza. Here we were told the story of a monk, Bernado a follower of Copernicus, who esposed the earth was not the center of the universe and that Virgin Mary was not a Virgin at all and Jesus was a great magician. Heresy for sure. Bernado wrote some books and had a huge following so of course the Pope wanted him dead. Bernado took the high road and left Italy entirely and traveled throughout Europe. After 20 years and missing a good plate of Pasta, Bernado returned to Italy. He stepped off the boat in Venice and was arrested on the spot. Taken to Rome he was taken directly to the Pope who gave Bernado a choice, renounce or die. Of course Bernado did not renounce and for the next 20 years, he was tortured every day each in a different way.
Bernado never gave up and so on February 17, 1600 he was burned alive in this very square and his statue was erected on the very spot of his execution 200 years later. For the record in the year
2000 the Vatican apologized and said Bernado was right, the Earth os not the center of the universe. On the Virgin Mary, the jury is still out.
We spent the rest of the evening walking from square to square where Giacomo regaled us with history, allegory and ghosts. A city that is as old as Rome is filled with these stories and I leave it to you when you can visit please look up this wonderful guide and take a journey into Rome's dark past. You will be glad you did.
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