Another day in the cradle of civilization went very well if I may say so myself. Given that we had already hit the majority of the “biggies” over the course of the last few outings, today was a day for “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll”. For those in the crowd that love and pine for the retro tones of Donny and Marie, here’s looking at you kids!
We left our place this morning once again on a straight shot to St. Peters. It may sound like we always end up there but actually we always end up there. Not always because we intend to but mainly because it is five minutes from our AirBnB on the way to literally everything else.
We walked straight by this morning except for one deviation as I stopped & watched intently as a plain clothes Roma Police team shook down a Gypsy who was a bit too aggressive with the elderly pilgrims in town for a “god time” not a long time. Just as I had observed a Caribinieri officer smash a “Gypo” for pickpocketing in Florence many moons ago, this was just as entertaining. Perhaps most reading this would think I may have a black heart but these thieving little Bas**ards deserve everything they get.
Anyway, with those warm moments in my back pocket we moved on to the river and this time followed the Tiber to the North. Passing the Castle San Angelo we continued to the Italian Supreme Court. I assume all kinds of jiggery pokery has gone on there. The Italian’s are not exactly known for being on the up and up when it comes to keeping a lid on organized crime or prosecuting prime ministers when they have “Bill Clinton” moments with young working girls (I mean fashion models). Anyway, as with every landmark in this city, it is all that and a bag of Cannoli.
We pushed on and then crossed the Tiber with a view to eventually landing in the Piazza Del Popolo. Five minutes of saunter and there we were. This is something else. 360 degrees of full on jaw dropping vista. We took a few “grams”, which is hipster for photos and kept going north. Perfecto, out of the tourist zone if not immediately and into another part of Rome that is charming in its very own way. It was not Trastevere cool, of that I am sure. It is Rome. Barber shops, coffee bars where prices are normal, pharmacies, tobachi’s (corner store) and seemingly places of work.
If you never ventured out of the tourist Rome you may think that every Roman gets a mega stipend at birth so they can look, smell and be great. I guess its a rouse, these folks have jobs. We walked past the Italian Navy HQ. White uniforms were the order of the day and there were hundreds.
I have been suffering with my obligatory heat rash about the ankles as per usual in this country. Deanna has suffered through many a day and night with me here (mostly Venice or Assisi) & helps me administer the usually useless ointments at the conclusion of every long day. Today I went to a pharmacy and in my best broken Italian asked the chemist what she thought. Fifteen seconds later with a short confab with her senior and over the counter came a spray pump bottle containing instant relief and reversible symptom treatment within an hour.
I have been here numerous times and just plain suffered. Stupid is as stupid does once said a wise ping pong playing man. So with relief came a notion to head to a cafe, have some lunch and a beer or two and then finish it all off with a tiramisu and a wicked smooth espresso.
Joy in Mudville peeps, all is well in the world. Fuelled and good to go. 150 meters west and we stood in front of a church I did not recognize. The Church of Gesu’. Im gonna say it, second best and rivalling the best of the bunch we have had the honour to visit. I’m all out of adjectives. Crazy crazy beautiful. After 45 minutes sitting in several seats around the building with our necks cranked way back it was time to think about the off.
Uber requested and a six minute wait. While we wait I will explain todays title. About an hour earlier, all was going smoothly at the Cafe Napoleon. Then Chip and Buffy and their friends Chip and Buffy decided to co-join our table. Buffy 1 had one policy. Only stop talking when food was inserted in her gob. Her incessant jabbering about Alabama was starting to make my ears bleed.
Chip 1 didn’t say much, I’m not sure he was authorized to. Our waiter was good, multi lingual and really sharp. Buffy 1 wanted pizza. She pointed to the menu in an effort to order. It would have been much easier to annunciate but oh well. The waiter confirmed her choice of prosciutto & pineapple as he clearly didn’t get many locals placing that order. He spoke clearly in English to confirm the choice. He read back the toppings. Thats when Buffy 1 tried to explain in “American” that back in the states they call that a Hawaiian Pizza. Luca tried to keep a straight face however there was a strong hint of you are a stupido oozing out from his pours.
Next came Buffy 2 who only wanted a salad as she was watching her weight (we learned). Buffy 2 wanted to know if she could get ranch dressing on the side. The response from Luca was what kind of dressing? Olio and balsamic, that is what we have. Buffy 2 was just a little stunned as they have ranch dressing back in the states and as it turns out on Carnival Cruise lines too. Chip 1 and Chip 2 ordered pasta carbonara. This prompted Buffy 2 to reconsider her original order. “Could I have a pasta carbonara too waiter? Trump could win…..
Buffy 2’s diet starts tomorrow!