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05/16/2002 Entry: "Flip me over, I'm done on this side."

When in Rome...go out for a big Italian dinner. Yep, it's 9:53 PM and we've just returned from a delicious Italian feast at Trattoria da Bruno-Romana. Homemade gnocchi with tomatoes and asparagus, spaghetti carbonaro with melt-in-your-mouth parmesan....and that is just the first course! A litre of red wine (for 4.10!!), chicken romano and a "big meatball" made up the rest of the meal. As I used to say when in another country: "Lecker" (delicious)!
Since the last update, we have taken a night train from Brindisi to Rome, toured the Roman Forum (huge ruins of important buildings everywhere), imagined the Coloseum in its glory, seen the Pantheon, got blessed by the Pope, raced through the immense Vatican Museum, and mulled over the beauties of the Sistine Chapel. We also saw St. Peter's Basilica, climbing over 300 steps to the top of the cupola to view the entire city, as well as taste some delicious Tartufo in Piazza Navona. Today, we took a break and relaxed with a picnic of bread, cheese, luscious tomatoes, ripe strawberries, sweet yoghurt and red wine (of course!) in the shady park of Villa Borghese. We took in a beautiful view of the city from the Pincio, a hill overlooking a Piazza. Down in the Piazza del Popolo, we viewed a couple of Caravaggio paintings in one of the churches. [to keep reading, click on the "more" link]

Tomorrow we plan to visit some of the other churches in the area...and who knows what else the day will hold for us!
We have downgraded considerably in our accomodations since Santorini. We are staying in Hotel Bolognese (or Hotel Meat Sauce as we like to call it!), which is clean and cheap (47, about $80 CAD! per night), but the common bathroom, chipped paint and grey-ish towels subtract a bit from the experience! We are planning to stay here until Friday night. Saturday we hope to take a train to Cinque Terre (with a stop in Pisa to snap a picture of the infamous tower!) to begin a hiking tour of the five fishing villages and the national park. We had hoped to visit my great-grandfather's grave in Montecassino, but we have not been able to figure out how to get there, so we will have to save that for the next trip (!).

By the way, the subject line is a reference to a comment made by Saint Lawrence. On our tour of the Roman Forum we learned that Lawrence was ordered to be executed by a Roman Senator for endorsing Christianity. The senator ordered him to be burned over hot coals in front of the masses, expecting him to beg for mercy. Lawrence refrained from crying out, instead praying silently. Enraged, the senator asked him to renounce his God, at which Lawrence simply replied "Flip me over, I'm done on this side", knowing that the gases from the fire would quicken his death. Apparently Saint Lawrence is now known as the patron saint of chefs and cooks! Saint Lawrence is even shown carrying a grill on his shoulder in Michelangelo's painting of the Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel. We are learning something new (several things!) every day!

Again, we hope all is well with everyone back home. Rest assured we are happy and healthy and having the time of our lives!

Replies: 4 comments

Hi Nate and Jenn!

I checked your journal and sounds like the trip is pretty exciting! I would love to visit Rome someday. Anyways, you're not missing much around here, the weather is cold and has been quite rainy. Hope the weather stays fine over there!

James

Posted by James Schellenberg @ 05/21/2002 09:48 AM EST

This is your mother writing! Can you believe I checked this all by myself?(now Julie starts typing, Mom's a little slow!) We are happy to hear that you are seeing so many wonderful things and are finding ourselves a bit jealous and hungry! Thanks for keeping us well informed of your travels.(Now Dad adds his imput) We hope that the weather is cooperating with all of your travels! Be safe and eat healthy! We'll toast you with a glass of red wine tonight! Take care, Dad, Mom and Julie

Posted by Anne and Julie @ 05/16/2002 07:32 PM EST

P.S. We received your post card dated May 8th today....May 16th. Excellent. What a view!!!

Seeya......D

Posted by david @ 05/16/2002 07:05 PM EST

WOW!!
Just read the journal from Thursday and we can't believe what all you did in just one afternoon!!!

Thanks for the update. The grandparents copies will go out in Friday's mail.

The Leafs won their series against Ottawa and start against Colorado tonight. Ian and Jamie and Ian's bro-in-law are going Thursday night next to the Toronto game. Separate seats all over including one standing at the bar (only $65.)

Won't keep you but am really happy for you both (you can probably see me smiling). Taper started at hjouse today but has lots to do and then a ton of painting. Dana wants to start upstairs this weekend if he is done.

We love you guys. Be very careful and watch out for flying babies!!!!

Love from Home!

Posted by Queenston Scotts @ 05/16/2002 07:03 PM EST

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