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Showing posts from 2010

A pick-pocket in Rome

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Although we’d spent five days and four nights in Rome at the beginning of our trip to Italy in October 2008, we had still not visited several of the city’s major sites, gaps which we planned to fill on the last leg of our journey when we’d spend two more days in the city.

Arriving in Rome from Siena in the early afternoon, we settled in at the Marriott on the Via Vittorio Veneto, then headed to the rental agency to return the car. Throughout our trip, we’d worried periodically about how we’d explain the scratch that mysteriously appeared on the passenger's door in Naples. After leaving the car with the attendant for inspection, and headed to the office to await the final charges and explain the scratch. The manager waived away our concerns. The contract remained as originally quoted and additional charges never appeared on our credit card statements. Apparently, scratches are expected or covered.

Relieved that we’d not been socked with a big repair bill, we took the Metro to Vatican…

Visions in Siena

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We left Sirmione on Lago di Garda, and headed back toward Rome through Tuscany with its terraced vineyards and olive groves, stone farmhouses, and hilltops crowned with castles and churches arriving finally at Hotel Montaperti in Casserta, an art filled, architecturally pleasing residence among ancient farmhouses and cypress clad hillsides.

After indulging in a swim beneath huge papier-mâché fish painted with brilliant rainbow and circus colors that spun in the breeze, we set out on foot to find something to eat. The Jolly Café and Bar surprised us by hiding a small restaurant where we dined on a delicious risotto with artichokes, paper thin veal cutlets, and salad accompanied with the ubiquitous effervescent water and, of course, house wine. The Italians drink wine so modestly, filling the glass only a tad with an occasional splash for seconds that we almost felt deprived during meals shared in common. On our own, we indulged: one carafe per meal.

Siena that evening, I wondered if …