Today was lovely and restful. We weren’t trying to bang out a bunch of tourist spots and driving ourselves to exhaustion because of it. I am not a fan of feeling the pressure to see everything that’s here just because you are here! You’ve gotta build rest into your vacations.
The time difference has been hard when waking up in the morning, and in Rome restaurants don’t open for dinner before 7 or 7:30. Since you don’t want to go to sleep right after eating dinner, you stay up late. Plus, at home it’s not bed time. Our buffet every morning is from 7 to 9 AM. Today we made it down there at 9:05 AM. Aye… It’s like waking the dead. But, oh how I love those heavy blackout drapes!
Josh napped after breakfast and I relaxed before we walked to Galleria Borghese. We ate a block of cheese and fresh bread on the way.
Appointments for the museum are specific to a time and limited to 2 hours. I wanted to go to Galleria Borghese, because it houses the largest collection of Caravaggio paintings. He basically invented the Baroque style and the way he paints with a stark contrast of lighting is just impressive to me. Well, the museum itself is exquisite. And while there I fell in love with Bernini’s sculptures. Most statues bore me. The kind that just stand there, ya know? But Bernini ushered in the Baroque period in sculpture and his works have movement to them. They’re caught mid-action. And the details are so life-like. Check out the hand grabbing the thigh and the indentations of the fingers. The stone looks like flesh.
(Thats a ceiling.)
After the museum we sat on the lawn in the Borghese Gardens and snacked a bit more. (See? We were making time for rest!) Then we headed to the coffee shop that has the best coffee in the world (or so we’ve been told – by more than one Italian). Sant’Eustachio il Caffe. It was good, but so are the other espressos & cappuccinos we’ve had. Eh. It was also packed. I’ll drink my cappuccinos elsewhere. Thanks.
At this point we were by the Pantheon so decided to go in. Michael had gone the day before and showed us pictures and we finally had decided we didn’t need to see it, but since we were close anyway we went. Five seconds after walking in I said to Josh, “I’m glad we came.” The size cannot be understood in pictures. This is a legit building that’s been standing for 1900 years. Can anyone even comprehend that?! Like its a full building. Not ruins. 1900 years. I can’t grasp it.
The hole in the roof is so the prayers could get through to the gods.
After walking around a bit more, checking out a few shops, Josh knocking over all the handmade stuff in the woodcarving shop ? we grabbed a taxi and headed back to the hotel for our dinner buffet.
Now, let me tell you about Matteo. We met him our first night at the welcome reception. He was behind the bar pouring drinks. We’ve seen him at almost every breakfast. He chatted it up with Michael one morning before we lazy ones got out of bed. He’s been at our dinner buffets. And we’ve quickly made friends with Matteo from The Westin Excelsior. We get excited every time we see him and he always has a smile for us. Tonight after dinner we asked him question after question. About Italy, the language, smart phones, his girlfriend! And then I asked him a question that revealed something I had only suspected, but knew not for sure.
“Matteo, do you know our last name? It is spelled M-u-c-c-i-o. How would you pronounce that?”
And Matteo answered, “Moocho.”
“I knew it!”
I’m here observing the language and I think the “i” is silent after a “c” in almost every word I see. For example focaccia bread. Yes, Matteo confirms the “ci” is like the English “ch” but of course there are exceptions.
Josh is having an identity crisis with this news. Especially because he discovered there’s no “J” in the Italian alphabet either. So, I guess you can call him “Osh Moocho” now.
Hahaha. I am literally cracking myself up.
Anyway, we take the train to the land of Josh’s forefathers tomorrow. He can rediscover himself there. Until next time…