I think overseas travel is like childbirth. It’s so wonderful when you get there that you forget the pain, until you’re suddenly in the middle of it, in your tiny airplane seat with your back aching and an incredible need to stretch, but your seat mate is asleep, so you’re trapped, and then you realize you still have five and a half hours to go! Took a nap on a bench in Amsterdam airport and then flew on to Rome. Discussed all kinds of things, including politics with my taxi driver all in Italian. I got most of it. It’s good I kept up with the recent election because he kept talking about le quinte strelle, the 5-star party of the comedian Beppe Grillo.
Another change—- I showed my passport in Amsterdam but not in Rome, I guess because I was coming from the European Union. It was so fast and easy. I will try to always take that first flight to Europe and then a connection in the future.
My apartment is on a tiny viccolo, Via Della Paglia, and Fabrioza, my hostess, leaned out her window to greet me when I arrived. She and her husband have two grown girls, one in Madrid and one in London, so they made an apartment with a separate entrance out of their girls’ rooms just as we did. She even has a locked connecting door covered by a curtain. At any rate, it’s so lovely to be in Trastevere but on a quiet street. Getting ready to go wander in order to add some “local color” photos for mom. I was very lucky with this trip. All went like clockwork.
Fabrizia arranged a taxi to pick me up at noon tomorrow to take me to the train station for the train to Chiusi. I already have my ticket printed out. Purtroppo, taxis don’t run out of Chiusi on Sunday, so I’ll have to take a taxi to Montepulciano, about 40 minutes away. Non ce problema.
I went walking in the neighborhood and texted my Vanderbilt friends. Hillary said I HAD to go to Le Mani in Pasta, her favorite place to eat in Trastevere. So, with my trusty phone, I typed it in, and Google maps led me to the door. Of course I didn’t have a prenotazione (reservation), but Fausto, the main guy, got me into a table, and I had a delicious fettuccini with ricotta and pancetta. Perfetto! As I left, we chatted, and he called me Bella. I love how often Italians use the word beautiful.
It’s always a little strange at first to eat da sola, but the people next to me asked about my pasta, and we started talking. They lived in Austin for twenty years but now live in Rome. Their daughter was visiting for Spring Break from Harvard Law School— a fine product of Austin public schools. Il piccolo mondo.