Mamertine Prison

The Choking Pigeon!  Before we headed into Mamertine Prison, we sat outside it on some church steps (there are a lot of those in Rome!) to eat some sandwiches.  Curt had a bit of bread left from his (and the bread was pretty hard and crunchy....) so he tossed it out to a group of pigeons that was begging nearby.  Well, this big guy fought over that piece of bread with several other birds and got it for himself, only to then choke on it!!!  He literally stood out there gagging (he's doing it in the picture) while the 5 of us sat there wondering how to do the Heimlich on a bird - and was there anything we should or could do - and what would happen if the bird actually died - would we have to report it to someone - what does one do when one kills a bird in Rome????!!!!  Well, lucky for us, after quite a long time of gagging, the bird coughed the chunk of bread out, only to go right back after it and fight off another bird to get a second chance at it!  We figured at that point anything that happened to him was his own fault and we headed across the street to see the prison.

This is part of the cell where St. Peter and St. Paul were held.  It is down a set of stairs in the basement of a church.  While it doesn't impress you much, you have to consider the one picture under the grating - legend has it that as Peter was being led down the stairs into this cell, he banged his head on this stone wall and dented it in!  The grate is there to protect the dent for us all to come and see.  Hmm...  Stone wall versus head - wonder which one would usually get the dent in it??!!