Family French, School Latin, Soap-Opera Spanish Serve Our Girls Well in ITALY

23 07 2009

“Last Day in Rome”
Posted by Favorite Daughter (penguindust)

en route

Yesterday’s Report: Went to the Colosseum today, seemed like a good idea, since it’s close to our hostel and is the COLOSSEUM.

We encountered a rather hapless man named Glenn, whose dearest wish in the whole wide world seemed to be that we patronize his free walking tour. Feeling a little sorry for Glenn, who had a British or possibly Australian accent, we joined the six others he’d recruited (three Aussies, one Asian, one German). Glenn first paraded us around the Colosseum, telling us useful things we hadn’t heard before (apparently it was used as a brothel for awhile after the fall of the Roman Empire).

Then we all hopped on a bus (literally hopped) and went to see the oldest temple in Rome, the famous Mouth of Truth (Roman Holiday!), a church of St.Nicolas, the bones of St. Valentine, and some ruins of temples over which the church of St. Nicolas had been built. Then Glenn recommended that we buy cakes in the Jewish district, and oddly enough, took us to a hospital to eat them.

But it was a nice hospital! There was a turtle pond and everything.

After another questionably free bus ride, Glenn delivered us safely to the Colosseum again, where he totally hooked us up with a ticket booth with no line.

We wandered on original Roman roads amidst the ruins of thousands of years ago, and it was amazing. The Colosseum was truly awe-inspiring, and huge. I mean, we knew it was huge, they used to fill it with water and have naval battles, but really. Huge.

Then we had lunch at a charming little hole-in-the-wall around the corner, the Café Michelangelo. We ordered delicious calzones via Kiki, who has discovered that, between her fluent French, three years of Latin, and smattering of soap-opera Spanish, she can understand almost everything said to her in Italian, and, usually, cobble together a halfway comprehensible response.

Today’s Report: The highlight was our triumphant return to the Café Michelangelo, where the family who runs it greeted us with flattering enthusiasm. We ate pizza, and they brought us free dessert. When we left, the matriarch, grandfather, and adorable pre-adolescent boy named Paolo, all of whom we’d come to think of as our own, expressed sorrow that we were leaving Italy tonight. They kissed us on both cheeks, and said, “Ciao! Ciao! Arrividerchi!” “Bye!” said Paolo, proud of himself that he’d remembered the right word.

They waved until we were out of sight.

We also visited several basilicas today, and the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain! I know I keep saying this, but the Trevi Fountain is enormous. Simply giant. The Pantheon’s structure – the round roof with the hole in the center – was remarkable to behold.

Our night train to Paris leaves at six. We’re sorry to leave Rome, but not Rome in July.




9 responses

23 07 2009

Would like to hear more about Glenn’s tour. I thought the Roman Empire before its fall pretty much WAS a brothel . . .

23 07 2009
Obi-Mom Kenobi

*biting knuckle in jealousy*

So Latin was useful after all, eh? I may have to pass that along to Padawan Learner… 🙂

23 07 2009

Lol, I guess that IS more of a selling point for the young, isn’t it — that you can get food with it! — than my old-lady academic rationales.

23 07 2009

Great story. I agree, Rome in July is not my ideal, either. Been there, done that. I was lucky enough to go back a second time in October. Ahh, much better.

I’ve had tour guides like Glen before, probably in Rome, or Napoli! It’s par for the course!

I envy the girls being in Paris for the end of the Tour de France. That’s something I’d like to do at some point. And yet, the crowds! Oh, mercy, the crowds! Alpha and I, well, here’s a secret: we hate people. Not all people, per se. But crowds of people. The throngs.

We’ll be going back to Paris soon. Probably in October or November. BTW, if you decide to go sometime yourself, we KNOW the biggest hotel room in the city. Big, as in, you could stay there with your family, and STILL take your mother-in-law along, and you wouldn’t hate it. And trust me, there aren’t many of those in Paris!

23 07 2009

Careful Beta, or you’ll find yourself stuck planning our Homeschool Mom Grand Tour!

23 07 2009

I’m the same way about crowds. Here’s my worst crowd story ever — all true.

Raging Storms, Street Warfare and Power of Personal Story

I’ve had this on my mind today particularly, because of a news story here in the States about a (small, older, lame but also unfortunately for this tale, black) Harvard professor arrested in his own home after a neighbor reported a burglary and the responding policeman thought the professor was a bit too indignant about the mistake . . .just like me in my story. Except he didn’t have a spouse handy to pull him away before he actually GOT arrested. I was damn lucky.

24 07 2009

Amazing. And incredibly sad. –And scary, too, thinking back to that early pregnant magical time.– I read these kind of things shaking my head sadly, thinking whatever happened to the “America” I knew growing up, where everyone was innocent until proven guilty, and everything was fireworks and apple pie. And now I wonder if I ever really knew it at all, or if it was just some magical fairyland my parents and teachers spun, akin to Santa and the Easter Bunny and all their wonders. Stories like this, I’m pretty sure, have always been out there, sad though that is. But the internet brings them to our door in the way that no local newspaper can.

24 07 2009

Exactly so, Beta. Me too . . .

11 02 2010
Favorite Daughter’s Upcoming Musical « Cocking A Snook!

[…] I’m thinking this will be particularly poignant for her after unschooling Europe including Italy last […]

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