OK so it has been awhile. It has been a very busy time and once again technology left me hanging for quite a few days!
My two guests had a terrific time but we all came down with a nasty stomache bug. I started it and blamed it on this terrific seafood restaurant – thought it was the raw shrimp as I was the only one to scarf them down – then Carla spent a day holed up in the apartment and poor Sandra came down with it on the flight back to Canada! It may take some time for her to put the trip in proper prospective after that nasty ending! Before they left however – and in between everyone being sick – we had a great time. Wandered all over the city, visited the Borgese gardens, shopped and did a little damage to the cards of course. On Saturday we had lunch reservations at a gorgeous restaurant at the top of Pinchio. Brilliant sunshine, fine food and wines and the best view over the city! So the girls hauled out the jewels and went to town! Lots of fun!!
I had a couple of days off and then Leslie arrived for the remainder of my time in Italy. I can’t believe I’m down to the last 9 or 10 days; I haven’t done nearly half the things I want to, my Italian is still completely fractured and I feel like I’m just getting the hang of things. Ah well I think it means I’ll have to do this again next year – now won’t that be tough!
Yesterday a group of us from the school drove out to Cittavecchia and had a marvelous day. It was cool and very windy but we found a restaurant on the beach which was sheltered and proceeded to eat and drink for several hours. The waiter asked us if we wanted menues for five when we sat down – thought it was a tad odd as we were quite evidently five people – but we said yes of course. Well what he was actually asking us was if we wanted the fixed menu – food for five people! Plates of stuff started arriving until we had to ask them to slow down until we could catch up. Started with a cold seafood salad, then grilled eggplant, a huge plate of mussels, seafood risotto, spaghetti with clams, fries, two whole grilled branzino and a plate of fried calamari, anchovies and octopus and of course liters of cheap and cheerful white wine! We kinda rolled along the beach for several kilometers afterwards! A grand day! I think the area must be terribly tacky and touristy in the summer – I have visions of wall to wall people – but at this time of year it was just the locals and us!
Today Leslie and I set out for the Vatican – had planned on the Colosseum but the Rome Marathon was scheduled so we figured we’d go in the other direction and avoid the crowds. Not so much luck but it was fun. Apparently the marathon runs all through the city and indeed we were listening to the Pope’s address on the monitors and the runners were whipping past us with great encouragement from the crowds. I wonder if the Pope thought we were cheering his speech/sermon?
Despite what my guide book said, the Vatican Museum was closed – and always is on Sundays – so we headed over to the Castel Sant’Angelo, meandered through there and then back to the sunshine of the Piazza Navona for a late light lunch. I think the marathon took a turn through there as well. We did see the wildest thing while watching the race; at about the point where there were a large number of runners all bunched up and moving very fast, three nuns and a priest decided to cross the road! I have absolutely no idea why there wasn’t a major accident and it had to be one of the more stupid things I’ve seen people do. I suppose they were expecting divine intervention? Anyway it struck me as massively arrogant that they couldn’t wait like all the rest of us!
Time to organize things for the evening so now that I’m back in business with the blog you’ll hear from me again soon.