Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal-Day 13

The view from lunch at Ville San MIchele

Today was a travel day. We packed up and checked out of our rooms at the Ville San Michele and then sat around and talked, and ate, and drank, and talked some more, until our driver picked us up at 3:30 p.m. to drive us back to Rome.

The drive through the Italian countryside was beautiful, but it raised more questions. Where were all the people? The road between Florence and Rome is surprisingly unpopulated, and it is not because it is a desert. Also, where are all the business establishments–the gas stations, restaurants, and businesses? Italy seems remarkably undeveloped commercially for how developed it is historically, but granted, we only saw a small sample.

Heavy on our hearts and constant in our conversation for the last five days has been the death of Queen Elizabeth II. I had mentioned Queen Elizabeth I in the post on Day 5, and have referenced Queen Elizabeth II in a prior travel journal post. Queen Elizabeth II apparently loved God and took very seriously her role as not only the head of the Church of England but as a Christian role model for her people.

The question I raised with the team was whether Elizabeth has earned the moniker, “the Great.” It’s a fair question and one historians in the future will get to answer. If so, Elizabeth II will be deemed great because she was good, which is the best reason to be considered great, unlike say, Herod the Great, who was not good.

Our destination today was the Hilton at the Rome airport, a perfectly fine hotel but compared to the Ville San Michele felt like a hostel. The rest of the GSB team went down to dinner but ended up not eating. I stayed in the room and ordered pasta and watched a movie on my iPad until it stopped streaming and told me the movie was not available in Italy. By that time I was ready to go to bed anyway. It was time to transition from vacation to getting back home. GS

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