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Thread: Eternal Ground.

  1. #1
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Eternal Ground.

    I need to get away from England. Bloody Biffer Boris, Brexit, Brussels, Barnier are all doing my head in. Whilst shrugging off serpentine mutterings on Google about problems in the Eternal City, I've decided to spend one week in Rome starting next Saturday. Resolved to be blinkered against reports of; graffiti, pickpockets, uncollected garbage, buses catching fire, weekly government coalitions, Nigerian prostitutes and a lack of the Italian language, I'm still resolved to embed myself in all that is positive.

    To this end I have over the last week indulged assiduously in learning basic Italian; inclusive of the unwritten mysteries of hand gestures, to which the natives are apparently adept. For one week I will switch off social media, dip into the cuisines & Gibbon; whilst meandering unrestrained and uncaring from coffee house, to wine bar, to trattoria. With a suitable donation to a friendly barman, I will explore the various aspects of the national aperitif, starting with the Negroni & Americano. I hope, indeed I pray that with a break from the normal routine and a touch of Divine Providence, I might even get the creative juices flowing and do some writing.

    Watch this space.

  2. #2
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    ...................................
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 09-30-2019 at 08:21 AM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  3. #3
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Wellcome in spam free territory.Just some vocabulary and useful phrases in Italian:https://www.thoughtco.com/phrases-fo...-hotel-4119772 and http://mylanguages.org/italian_vocabulary.phpHi, Manichean.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  4. #4
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Hi Danik

    At last what appears to be a spam free Lit Net. Many thanks for the Italian links. Be assured I will do my homework in that respect.

    Ciao
    M.

  5. #5
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Sitting in one of the airport lounges at Terminal 4 Heathrow awaiting my flight, might be an opportune moment to consider my attempts over the last two weeks to learn Italian.

    First impressions are favourable; presumably because Latin seems to have been the bedrock of so many Western European languages. Thus, if you have a grounding in; English, French & German, as I have been fortunate enough to have acquired, then many Italian words are so similar. But I think the trick is to get into the groove, enunciate with passion and wave your hands around a lot. We will see.

    A few notable words that I came across that caused some amusement included:
    The remote ( for the TV) "Il telecomando. " and double bed, "Il letto matrimoniale. "
    To which one of my friends advised that if I wanted to get a lady into a letto matrimoniale, then my chances were telecomando!!

    But at least now I feel fairly equipped with essential phrases that encompass; the way to the Coliseum, the bill, and using the bathroom.

    Research on eating habits for Italians also proved interesting. For example:
    1. Bars sell drinks sure. But also coffee, snacks, ice creams and light meals.
    2. The traditional breakfast is a cuppachino, with a "cornetto " (croissant). Taken, standing at the bar. Looks like the full English breakfast is unobtainable for one week.
    3. Dont wait for the bill at a restaurant. You have to ask for it.

    Ready to board Alitalia. Avante!

  6. #6
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Lol! I don´t think you have to go without breakfast. Here are some suggestions:
    https://www.rastlos-geloest.com/wher...laces-in-rome/

    The usual thing here in Brazil is to book a hotel with breakfast included. That seems to be different in Rome.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  7. #7
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Hi Danik

    Thanks for the link. Will check it out. First night very comfortable in a great hotel. Now leaving to look around.

    Best regards
    M.

  8. #8
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    At £271.54 for a return ticket, business class, London to Rome, you should not expect much. And so it turned out to be the case. None of the frills; basic seat with extra leg room, no hot towels, no glass of champagne. In fact no glasses. Plastic cup for a glass of wine. But as I said, cheap and only a 2.5 hour flight.

    Fuminchino Airport was not like I remember it. Mind you the last time I visited was when Pope Paul died and I bumped into Edward Kennedy in the lift of the Holiday Inn.

    Usual fake taxi touts outside the airport avoided. Got a kosher ride with a bit of effort and ended up at the hotel in central Rome about 11pm; whereupon I crashed out onto the "letto matrimoniale. "

    I will try not to bore you, with what could easily descend into a travel guide, but suffice to say Monday was a series of extremes. I visited four churches, attended two masses and took communion. I did not intend to at first and held back. But then something pulled me to my feet and I hurried to the altar to take the host; being only too aware that with a long white beard I was receiving more than normal attention from both the priest and the attendant Italian congregation.

    Devotions complete, I retreated to what looked like a watering hole with potential; complete with a professional owner who knocked up two Negroni's. What a creation!. Celestial presence was apparently complete in both church & bar.

    The trattoria near the hotel was full, so I tried a Michelin one star further down a narrow road. I've never tried what is termed "fine dining" before; nor had to pay what amounted to €100 for lunch; but what the hell, I'm retired. I had no reservation, so was seated outside in the company of a pigeon. But this turned out to be a supurb spot. Narrow cobbled street with a view of old Rome, lovers and tourists passing and the pigeon sharing titbits of crostini with me.

    A glass of wine in one hand I was at peace and the pigeon was cooing.

  9. #9
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Lol! Seems you enjoyed yourself after all and the pigeon too. Probably the places where you get good food for less money are a bit out of the tourist zone. The problem by a short trip is, that when ones starts to finding ones way around, it is time to go home.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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