Sharing Our Journeys: Jean Brandt, Rome
When you walk around Rome at random, you come upon the most amazing sights. We found the baroque church of St. Andrea della Valle, which had the most beautiful-sounding bells, and it turned out to be the one where Puccini had premiered the 1st act of Tosca in one of the side chapels. Then we went looking for Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, which was hard to find but worth it for the obelisk on top of an elephant in the courtyard. This church is built on the site of an ancient temple to Isis, and Galileo stopped here to pray on his way to be interrogated by the Inquisition. Also, it's evidently the only pure Gothic church in Rome.