The place mom picked for dinner was a win. There were roving singers, an incredible antipasto plate, and too much charged on our bill... which was promptly removed when I pointed out the error. I'm glad I read up on dining in Italy. Common problem, apparently, leading several to suggest always reviewing your bill. Mom has ossobucco, which was amazing, and at her suggestion, I had lasagna. If at third you don't succeed, why try again? I can't explain it, still -- nothing. It was tasty, but I am not a convert yet.
Afterwards, we searched for that little gelato place from last night again. Is the gelato-related suspense killing you? Don't worry -- the official gelato guide at the end of the trip will hopefully make it worth the wait. This is definitely the best quality gelato, and we get two flavors a night to try and discern the best. Well, at least our favorites.
Before we left for dinner, I had another lovely game of charades with Lady Ana. She is really a sweetie, and I am finding that if I say a word in Spanish, she can often pick up what I mean. See... I did learn something in high school! tonight we talked about where else we plan to go in Italy, and why we've come. She is 63, but I would have imagined much older. People seem to age quickly here.
We are plotting a course for tomorrow, which includes a tour of the Vatican and a tour of the Vatican post office, so we can ship some of the bounty we've accumulated home. I'm working in another siesta for mom, which I am sure I will appreciate, too, especially as I plan to run in the morning before we head out. In the afternoon... we plan to tour a crypt with mosaics made from monk bones -- a recommendation from friends in DC.
I like mosaics.
I've been thinking a lot about the Roman Empire. There are so many little colloquialisms that make much more sense to me now. One example -- Rome wasn't built in a day. Clearly. It took centuries of people trying to out do each other to create the masterpiece known as the "Eternal City." In that, though, there is something sad. It wasn't meant to leave behind something great for the ages. It was Flavius outdoing Nero, and Constantine UNDOING them all. That brings to mind another example -- divide and conquer. Rome divided itself, and that brought about it's fall.
As we look back at history, you would think we'd learn something. A great civilization, revered -- or feared -- by the world for a far reaching hand. Yet something as simple as one leader trying to exert his power over another brings about the end. In the US, we've exerted our control over others in a similar fashion. America the great, now divided within. And we watch it fall... mute.
What happened to united we stand, even against our own leaders, who fail us time and time again?