(Written immediately after the prior entry)
Thursday night we set off in kind of a wild goose chase to find a certain restaurant in Rome that Jin and Pete recommended to us. Armed with no more than a possibly incorrect spelling of the name and a potential but uncertain location, we unfortunately failed. We ended up walking to Piazza Navona and finding somewhere to eat there. Mr. B liked the new wine he tried, a Cesanese. On the way home, we checked out the Pantheon.
On Friday we had another major tourism day. In the morning we went to Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica, climbed the cupola for a stunning and clear view of rome (and the pope’s house!) and explored the tombs of the popes underground. Pope John Paul II’s was still lit up and many people were praying there.
After some lunch we went to the incredibly overwhelming Vatican Museum to see a ton of beautiful artwork, culminating in the Sistine Chapel which was somehow both bigger and less impressive than I had imagined. Though the works were beautiful and amazingly realistic, perhaps the problem was simply that we had passed through so many intricately painted hallways and rooms before being able to enter the chapel. I think our necks were sore and our ability to appreciate fine art had diminished slightly at that point after all of the careful consumption. Our brains were stuffed full of Renaissance art.
We chose a better dinner place (with the help of TripAdvisor) and my excellent carbonara was followed by our brisk waiter launching suddenly into a vigorous Italian story (all in Italian- I did my best to translate for Mr. B) about some of the signs on the walls advertising a laxative wine and the prostitute who gave it to her customers. I may have to try to look up the wine online to see if I got the story right.
Because of my interest (I did ask about the signs) and our newfound friendship, the waiter gave us free shots of limoncello (for me) and some kind of fortified wine, though not one I’ve heard of (for Mr. B). We left feeling pleased by our triumphs of finding (for Mr. B) a great tiramisu to follow a good authentic Italian meal and (for me) someone in Rome who would speak Italian to us and liked us enough to give us a digestive. We were probably also just happy on the alcohol and the company.
The morning was hard. We took the train to the airport and the bus to the terminal. I couldn’t go far with Mr. B, just through kiosk check in to the first sliding door. We hugged and I cried and we knew it had been a great adventurous week together. He disappeared through the sliding door and alone I took the bus to two trains to the mini metro and I was home.
For the rest of the weekend, I didn’t accomplish much. I unpacked, watched an entire season of Friends, and ate. On Monday morning I woke up, went to class and set out to start over- another two months before I would see Mr. B was also another two months of adventures and Italy.