Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ciao Roma

We are 2 blocks from the Colisseum in a very comfortable B&B (only 4 units) called "Downtown Accomodations" which is run by a helpful couple from China.  Last night's restaurant recommendation from our host was superb, the 313 Via Cavour Enoteca where we ate carpaccio, white beans plus spinach-pear-ricotta salad.  Our first day we ate at a place on Mark's list in Camp di Fiori, enjoying pasta with artichokes and fab soft cheese and afterward we bought a refugee bag for 15e to pack foodstuffs and other treasures for our return.

Galleria Borghese left us awed by the marble walls, mosaic floors, muralled ceilings plus the contents, the paintings of Caravaggio and others, the Bernini sculptures, the 1st Century racing Greek steed.  I wanted to read the Cambridge Ancient and the Greek classics by Virgil and Ovid with tales of Daphne and Apollo [} and Pluto and  Proserpina [] to say nothing of a much-needed Bible history.  But will I do so in this lifetime?

Why does Italy have the best food and drink in the world and the lousiest orange juice?  Every breakfast, we are confronted by a Tang-like reddish-colored beverage better suited to dyeing cloth.  Once in Siracusa, we were able to buy fresh-squeezed but never again.  Ah ha, finally found a $5 glass here in Rome.  And who needs juice at these very low prices for tasty wine?

We have climbed the Palatine Hill for the museum, stadium and domestic remnants of royal life and view of St. Peter's.  We have combed the Forum, guidebook in hand, captivated by the House of the Vestal Virgins, the arches remaining, the stones in the road, caught a quick Mass at nearby church Santa Maria del Soccorso al Monte di Pieta, one of the richest small baroque church interiors in the city,  and now we lay prostrate in our room.  Friday we've scheduled the Vatican Museums and fallen-away M has agreed to accompany me.

For those who recall my delight in finding an "uber grossen" shoe store in Berlin, the equivalent in Rome is 5 doors down from our hotel.  Tomorrow I too will have Italian boots but for now tennis shoes are my friends.  Tromp, tromp, tromp through the marble wonders of the (other) City of Seven Hills.


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