Italian Lessons in the Car and “The Hungry”

Posted on May 31, 2011


Dear Steve Madden,

Ouch! First time in my life these shoes hurt my feet. They are adorable and flat but I think that I have already worn them out from all my walking! In Larino with Miss Ford I walked in them for over 12 hours in one day. Flat shoes look cute but they are not ideal for long walks. As in today when I met Miss Texa to check out the inside of the Colosseum (finally!) and the massive Palatine and Foro Romano! We planned on meeting around 10:30 at Piazza Venezia and I showed up on time. After I waited for a short 20 minutes I decided to just walk the rest of the way to the Colosseum myself and at least pass time waiting in line for the group. I texted her the message and waited in line for barely 40 minutes before she found me to buy tickets. I knew that I didn’t have that much time before it was going to be time for me to head home to pick up the boys so I felt in a “rush” all morning knowing it would take me at least an hour to get home and I still needed to prepare some sandwiches for them for a snack in between Judo and after school!

After we bought the tickets we found the boys and handed them over. They were thankful that I “cut in line” for them and we entered the huge structure. I prefer when I am in a massive place that there is a specific direction that everyone follows (the way that the Vatican is set up to walk through the entire thing…one a conveyor belt!) so that you don’t miss a thing. Here was a mass confusion. I just wanted to be everywhere that we were not allowed to go and in all honesty I actually thought that the outside was much more fascinating than the inside! I took many photos from the outside and was more satisfied with those! No matter it was still pretty amazing to see the entire place finally. We then walked (in the high heat of the day) around the Palatine and Foro Romano. For 12 euros you have entry to all three areas and your ticket is good for two days. It would really take a full two days to cover each section of this famous area! Gorgeous views and plenty of history to entertain and trip through gardens and fountains in between ancient ruins…ahhh Rome is so beautiful and full of history. The people that have lived here all their life just don’t appreciate what they have! America is so young!

At lunchtime we decided to walk to our (Miss Texa and I) favorite “priest’s place” with the great pasta. This place is actually called La Vittoria Pizzeria Ristorante but we prefer “priest’s place!” The first time we went we knew it would be really good because it was full of priests sipping afternoon red wine and sucking down spaghetti! We made our way (two buses later plus plenty from the “heel/toe express”) and were sadly turned down! It is closed on Monday! Damn it! Unhappy we settled for a place two doors down. I ordered some angry pasta (penne alla  arrabiata) and the boys enjoyed some angel hair pasta with olive oil, garlic and hot chilis. Texa had some rigatoni with pork cheek (Grecia=cheek!) that is always a great pasta choice in this region. The waitress brought us sparkling water when we ordered natural so I was nervous about bad food due to the service but it turned out fine. My pasta was spicy enough to make my nose run and the sauce was thick yet light! The pasta was a little well done for my liking but perhaps they cooked it longer for us Americans!

After the boys inhaled some ugly mussels (eww some of them are bright orange little steamed creatures I don’t get it!) we called it a day and her man paid for our lunch. I tried to pay the tip or at least something but his brother assured me that there was no way that I was going to pay for much when he was around. What a generous and stand up guy! Molto gerneroso! He is a “keeper”! We said our goodbyes and I was on my way back to the house to get the boys their water, sandwiches and Judo bag to meet nana in her car. My mornings fly by but it is nice when I get to spend them with friends and don’t sleep my life away!

Once I met with nana I was eager to attempt to tell her that I went to the Colosseo with friends. Just this small sentence needed work. My past tense is bad but speaking in short about the present? I can do that as much as to be understood. After my small fumble with the past tense she helped to correct it and made me repeat my phrase over and over again! “Oggi, Sono andate col-o-sse-o con i miei amici!!” We actually found parking and went inside the school to find our boys after my Italian lesson. We rushed them to leave since we had Judo so they weren’t that happy about it! It always surprises me that some days are more difficult than others to get going and actually leave the school. They are always hungry when they come out of the building so I bring a small snack and waters. The first thing Tommaso tells me after he greets me is….”the hungry?” And I correct him and tell him to repeat “I’m…I’m..I’m hungry!” Next week he will have it right. They are so smart and fast its amazing!

Judo was pleasantly relaxing and I sat outside while Matteo played at the tiny park outside the building. In between pushing him on the swing I started a new Dan Brown book called Digital Fortress. Mr. Brown is such a splendid writer! I love his style of telling a story. The technique of each short chapter telling the same story but from another perspective of a character in the book inspires me to write more stories! When I create a book I hope to incorporate this writing style for my story here in Rome….ahhh the possibilites!


Posted in: When in Rome