Anne starts off our tale for Saturday: Today we spent most of the day with Andrea. We met at via Sannio where she helped both Alison and me pick out leather jackets (very reasonable) then we went to St John of Lateran church, had lunch then went to St Paul in Chains to see the Moses statue of Michelangelo. Andrea had never been and wanted to go so it was nice to go someplace new to her.
We went by the Colesseum but it was too late to go in, then we walked to the Tiber Island through the Jewish Ghetto to Largo Argentina and took a cab back to the hotel. As you can imagine, we’re pretty beat, at least I am! We’ve been averaging about 18,000 steps per day according to Alison’s pedometer.
Now back to Eleanor: There are so many churches, and each one is more amazing and ornate than the last. We discussed how this might be, since there are sometimes two churches in less than one hundred feet. Is it because there are so many people in Rome, and at one point church was mandated? Did churches capitalize on all the left over Roman Empire real estate? Fix it up and you can put your church there? Was there competition to build the biggest and fanciest church to show your money and your devotion? Or all of the above?
If find it moving to see so many people coming and looking at these great sights. It speaks well that people are interested in history, I think. I think the most moving artifact we have seen are the chains of St. Paul. It speaks the the reality of the reading we hear in church. I also loved the fountain with the turtles, but that is in the “fountain: non-holy” category.
We enjoyed Andreas company and insight, as she has lived here over 20 years. She works at the church we will attend tomorrow morning, which was the Berry’s parish while they were here.
Now, on to the prune pie. Anne has been quite good with the Italian and and Ali and I get in there and try, but the hard thing is when someone answers a question, and you can’t quite get it all. Thus was the debate when Anne asked about the dessert of the day. We all got “crostada” which we interpreted as “crunchy bread” but even though Anne nodded and smiled at the rest, she had no idea what was on said crunchy bread. Being a person of daring, I decided to roll the dice and went ahead and ordered it. When it arrived, it was not crunchy bread, but a slice of tart with a fruit filling that was very hard to identify. Blueberry? Mince? The closest I could come as a guess was prune, and that was when the wheels came off the wagon at our table. Needless to a say large slice of prune pie could have quite strong digestive effects, so this amused and worried all of us for the rest of the meal. I imagined the staff in the kitchen gathering together as the order came in: “Someone ordered the prune pie, that never happens,” and then sneaking looks at me. Who is this brave señora? It wasn’t until the bill came, that we were able to see the word “visciole” and we used our google skills to find out that is sour cherry.
Good times in Rome. Good times.