I've put up the pics from my first Sunday in Rome (on the second page of the St Peter's gallery here). We went to mass at St Peter's that morning, and the photos are woeful because there were so many people around and the lighting wasn't great. Brendan thought we could waltz in and get a seat without a problem, but evidently you have to buy tickets since the seats are reserved for church groups, seminarians, etc. So we hung around the barriers for a while and then shortly before the mass began, there were some vacant seats that the security guy allowed us to sit in.
The mass was said by the cardinal archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schonborn (a protege of Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Ratzinger). The Vienna Boys Choir sang (oh, and they were just so adorable in their little sailor suits), which is what I concentrated on. The mass was said in Latin, with the readings in German and Italian. Aside from the Latin bits, I sort of tuned out for most of the liturgy and instead focussed my attentions on the gorgeous seminarians that were littering the place (and you'll see that I got pictures of them, being the horrible scarlet woman that I am).
When the mass had finished, everybody flooded out of the basilica in time for the Pope's Angelus address, which he gives from the Apostolic Apartments at midday. It's a bit like the audience in that he gives his address in a number of languages and then the prayer itself is said in Latin. The atmosphere in the square was very festive, with people singing and playing guitars (again a bit like the audience) and dancing.
Brendan and I had wanted to eat at this restaurant that was supposed to serve ancient Roman food, but when we got to the place where it was supposed to be, it wasn't there. By that point it was nearly 2:00 and as we were going to the opera that afternoon, we didn't exactly feel like hunting it out so we went elsewhere. Afterwards we went and visited the Basilica of Maria Maggiore (which I didn't take photos of because I'd dropped off my camera at the hotel before we left, woe). It is a very beautiful church and houses a piece of wood from the manger where the baby Jesus was lain after his birth (as with the bones of St Peter, it's really the individual's choice as to whether they believe it the real deal or not). The remains of St Jerome (who translated the bible into Latin) and Bernini are buried there as well.
The opera we saw at the Rome Opera House was Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. The subtitles were in Italian, but I was familiar enough with the myth (and the Latin helped understand some of the subtitles) to know what was going on. It was enjoyable, but right towards the end I was getting a little sleepy, owing to walking around for most of the day. The length of the opera and the journey back to the hotel via taxi meant that we had a late dinner.
In the next entry on the trip, I'll talk a bit about the day tour to Pompeii.