Tuesday (May 3)

Dan dashed off to his meetings just shy of 9:00. Kate, Paula, and I met in the dining room at 9:00 where we lingered over coffee and breakfast until 11:00. It’s obviously difficult to be in a hurry here.

Paula and I took a long stroll in a beautiful park, Villa Doria Pamphili, a short walk from the hotel. What a treasure for a city this size. It has thousands of acres with trails, fountains, a small lake, and a magnificent villa with formal gardens and a huge private chapel. A nice Italian woman out with her dogs stopped and gave us a little tutorial on the park and trails and made pizza and gelato recommendations should we be near the Pantheon during our visit. She prepared us for the fact that they would be holes in the wall but guaranteed the quality of the food. Speaking of food, which I rarely do (ha), once back at the hotel I enjoyed tea and chocolate past-trees, as the waiter pronounced it (pastries), overlooking the pool after the two and a half hour walk.

The conference planners sponsored a walking tour in central Rome in the late afternoon. Although I’ve done an exhaustive exploration of this area on a couple previous trips, I enjoyed seeing and hearing about it again. The beauty of a mind that retains very little is things previously enjoyed have a way of seeming entirely new later on. Lucky me. We stopped at the Forum, centre of political, social, and business affaires, as well the marketplace of Rome, which is a massive jumble of impressive ruins that date back to numerous centuries. The guide helped make sense of them. We walked the streets as a group and she pointed out all the different types of architecture, the periods they were popular, monuments that are centuries old, tombs, palaces, and finally the Pantheon which is 1,900 years old and considered to be The Sight in Rome. Its columns of Egyptian marble and concrete walls and ceiling have never been repaired, only cleaned. You have my permission to think of it as the architectural, mathematical, and engineering wonder that it is universally considered to be.

OK, back to food. Our tour ended at Casa Bleve, a restaurant in a former palace that dates back to the late 1400s, where we enjoyed a four course meal with three wine pairings plus Prosecco to start and limoncello (here’s to you Emily) to finish. Besides great food we enjoyed great dinner mates. One Swiss gentleman met his Chinese wife while living in China. They married in Singapore and he’s now living in Switzerland married to a Jordanian vegetarian. The second man is Swiss, living in Miami, married to a gal from Boston who is busy planning their vacation to Kyoto, Japan. The third was Canadian living in Toronto married to a Canadian detective. Without stretching the truth too far, we tried our best to sound intriguing.

We waddled to the bus for the ride to the hotel at 10:00 swearing off food at least until morning.


2 thoughts on “Tuesday (May 3)

  1. I love slow mornings. Your walk sounds fun

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