The picture above is of the fourth most attractive priest I saw while in Rome. We had a pretty terrific time in Rome, especially if you exclude from about 6:30 to 8:30 of our last evening there, at the beginning of which time I had a Pickpockets on a Bus (similar to Snakes on a Train, but vastly less interesting) encounter and at the end of which I had finished filing police reports and reporting all of my currency and credit cards stolen. I also spent another few hours this morning visiting the Motor Vehicle Administration, bank, and Target (to get a new wallet), but such are the perils of modern living. This seems like one of those serenity-to-accept-what-I-cannot-change situations. In future, I'll leave the driver's license and most of the credit cards at home and carry only as much cash with me as I'll need. I don't want to sound too Pollyanna here: I was seriously bummed for a couple of hours. But I'm still mindful that having enough money to go to Italy means that the few hundred dollars I lost is money I could afford to lose. And, of course, I'm very grateful that I was with someone who knew what to do in that situation and who was willing to drive me around this morning to help me get my affairs in order. Plus, he paid for dinner that night and the cab to the airport the next morning. He may bill me for half of that, but there's a good chance he won't bother.
Anyway, the only other thing that was disappointing about Rome was the relative lack of clergymen in uniform. I was at the Vatican twice, and I hardly saw any. The most attractive priest I saw was walking towards St. Peter's as I was walking in the other direction. Like most of the curates in Rome, he seemed to be in a hurry, and I didn't get a picture, but he was wearing gray robes. B&c told me that means he was a Dominican, but I think he was probably Filipino. In any case, he would not have looked out of place in the saffron robes of a Buddhist monk, which made him doubly hot. He did smile at me, but I think he was probably smiling at everyone. There's nothing worse than a slutty priest.
The third most attractive priest was wearing white robes and appeared to be either German or Nordic. In either case, he was blond, slight, and handsome. And also walking very, very quickly. (And also towards St. Peter's: the curates are relatively scarce when you're down in the Pagan ruins.)
The priest/monk below wasn't all that cute, though he was better looking than you can see from the picture. I saw him come out of the Trinità dei Monti, descend one flight of steps, and then cross the road. Fortunately, he stopped, and I got a picture. Unfortunately, he was yawning. I reckon God's work is very tiring.
Trinità dei Monti is in Rome (Italy), at the top of the Spanish Steps, and it houses an order of French priests (Life was complicated before the EU.), including this one (second most attractive, if you're keeping score): It was late in the afternoon, and he was inside a somewhat dim chapel near the front of the church, and I obviously couldn't use flash, so the picture is terrible, but he was hot. He was just sitting there reading his Bible while all the tourists passed by. When we were back outside the church, and halfway down the Spanish Steps, B&c asked whether I'd gone in to confess to him. Apparently, he was on duty. Who knew?
I'm not Catholic, and even if I believed in confession, I wouldn't really know the protocol, but I was tempted to try. I reckon the conversation would have gone something like this (only in French, you understand):
TED: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. Hot French Priest: And? T: I'm a little unclear on the protocol. HFP: How long has it been since your last confession. T: I've never confessed before. I'm not really Catholic. HFP: You probably shouldn't be here. T: Aw, c'mon Father, help an unbeliever out. I saw you turning that same page back and forth for the last fifteen minutes. It's not like you're going to get a better offer. HFP: All right, why don't you tell me what your sins are. T: Talk is cheap, padre. I could tell you, but I'd much rather show you. Then you can tell me just how bad I've been.
It's really a good thing that I'm not Catholic, or I'd be going to hell for sure.
(By the way, I'm afraid I'm going to be milking the trip for at least a few more days. I had a truly fascinating time, and I have too much to say. I promise at least a few pictures of handsome Italians.)