Monday, March 28, 2011

Vacation Recap: March 15

More great Villa Rosa rolls and coffee in the morning, then it's off to the Colosseum!  Wow, it was already crowded.  We got the audio-guide, but we suffered geographical confusion when we tried to find the listening spots.  So many people were taking photos of other people, that I quit trying to avoid getting in the way.  We went to the souvenir shop, and I got a book called Rome Reconstructed which had layered pages showing sites as they were then/now.  It helped me figure out stuff the audio-guide told me that I didn't understand.

Next we went to the Forum, which was roomier and quieter.  I took out my book, but once again suffered geographical confusion.  The arch that I attributed to Tiberius actually belonged to Septimus Severus.  Then we found a shrine to Julius Caesar, and, since it was the Ides of March, it was filled with offerings.

We took a tour of an ancient church, the Oratory of the 40 Martyrs.  Tours were in Italian or English, so our group had Russians and others for whom English was not the mother tongue. In fact, I believe we were the only Americans.  I took a photo of the old-fashioned crosses with the yellow peacock.

We had some lunch and gelati at Valoran's Forum S.R.L. right near the Forum on Largo Corrado Ricci.  Sue had 2 flavors :bacio and kiss (chocolate with hazelnuts); I had banana.  Then Sue saw a couple of women standing near us as though waiting to sit down, so we got up for them.  But the women weren't together.  One ignored us; the other started telling us that she didn't know where her place to sit down in life was.  We fled.  I tried to use the debit card I'd gotten specifically for the trip.  However the mnemonic I'd invented for remembering the password was not good enough.  So Sue had to float me a loan, while I charged everything I could on my MC.
For dinner we went to La Buca di Rippetta Trattoria at Via di Ripetta 36. We got to the Piazza del Popolo and found our street.  We looked to our right and saw numbers in the hundreds.  Damn!  We were going to have to walk a long way for our dinner.  But suddenly there was our restaurant on the left.  The left side addresses were double-digit; the right side were triple-digit.  I've never run across such a diabolical numbering system in my life!  We had a fish-based meaL; small servings of salmon tartare, squid in red sauce, sliced octopus over something else, and linguini with tuna and tomatoes.  As usual, we had the house red wine.  All was very good.

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