The end of the Colossal tour
A crazy bunch of Italians on the street in front of the Spanish steps, where Keats and Shelley lived, possibly at the same time. Emily, in her wisdom, said that Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley as the fruition of a horror story write-off between her, Percy, Keats and some other dude on some weekend retreat. But apparently the boys decided some good splashing (of wine and in water) would be much preferred, so they let Mary have her fun.
Long exposure on the Spanish steps, apparently a landmark, covered by golden 20-year olds, looking down on a street filled with people and thinking of how damn pretty everything is.
There's got to be that one, perfect Italian restaurant. It's apparently common within Americans -- that one vision of some sort of dimly lit, back-alley, ivy-covered, surly-Italianed place. Though we may have very well found that the first night, we struck at our food mission with VIGOR in the second night, pushing through bodies that had staged revolt.
We arrived at a place that was medium-lit and certainly not in a back alley. But it did have the WWF (well, now WWE -- but that's like calling Lehigh the Mountain Hawks) on the TV for some reason. So, as Italians watched the screen and tried to compare their boisterous table-neighbors to the Wisconsin-sized combatants on the TV, we ordered.
Our waitress hustled around, as if it were important to clear the restaurant (only three tables were occupied -- Italians don't eat until well into the next day, it seems) for more worthy clientele later at night. Those who would order €17 sauvignon blanc instead of €15 pinot (us). So, through great use of elaborate hand signals, including the one that involves moving your hands slowly downward and outward, palms facing down, to imply the slowing down of things, we slowed her down. From then on, we communicated through handle signals and her rather fluent usage of "It's ok!" based on tone.
For when we asked about the wine: "ehh, isss okaaaaayyyyy"
For when the appetizers came out: "it's oKAY!"
For when, after seeing that only the plate showed through what was once covered in my four-cheese gnocchi: 'OHHH, ISS OKAY!"
For when we didn't get dessert: "iss ok"
Real good food, though, again. Made us very excited to come back to the Great Mayonnaise Sea. But before that, we had some Trevi Fountain to look at -- that thing you throw three coins into, presumably for good luck or to keep the pH level steady.
Then the wine tour began. After two at dinner, the plan sprang on us. We'd have to drink four more €20 bottles of wine over the course of the rest of the night -- no more, no less -- to make sure that economic distribution maintained equilibrium. It brought us to a wine bar where an Australian waiter kept us in our seats for two bottles by bringing us small pepperoni and cheese mini-wiches.
So we walked around the corner. And the Pantheon was there. Looming, in front of us, where people came to pray to their various gods during the empire's height. But, with two wine bars across the piazza, Bacchus received the greatest amount of reverence on this night. After a couple more bottles of white, Joe and I decided that we had a really good idea.
If only some sort of carbonated wine beverage existed... (aha!)
If you are ever presented with the opportunity to drink wine under an Italian night, take it. The feeling produced is light, is warm, is lucid and able to paint the scene in thick, newly-formed colors that grow in our minds like flowers sprouting from the ground into their first visit with the sun. And it's just really great.
Joe and Claire, at the first place, looking rather pleased. And in control.
Notice the progression, after a few glasses at the next place.
Almost at the peak. (They weren't actually about to kiss)
Aaaaand there it is. He'd been trying to chase this flying toy. For one step. This scene provided a great deal of humor to a bunch of Italian loiterers.
Emily and I get no sort of accurate portrayal because Claire's hands were shaking at the languid brilliance of the whole scene.
The only bottle of red we had over two days. It matches Joe's hair and temper.
And gelato, purchased with our new Scowser friends (from Liverpool) finished off the night and the trip's consumption.