Monday, 4 December 2006

"Autumn in Rome" - Peggy Lee, 1964

Hello from Rome...well, the suburbs of Rome anyway!

I arrived safely late yesterday afternoon...only about an hour late, despite really terrible weather in England Sunday morning.

Undoubtedly I had the world's grumpiest taxi driver from Fiumicino Airport to the hotel here in Parco Dei Medici. Maybe he was hoping for a fare all the way into the city center of Rome. I don't know. He also had a dreadful cough, so maybe he just felt bad. But he was a grump.

Anyway, once I got here and settled into my basic business-hotel room, I went down to the front desk to see if it was possible to set up my training room Sunday night. It was. A handsome young man named Andreas helped me. He looks like a young John Travolta. Sadly, though, he speaks very little English. So a lot of gesturing was required to explain what I needed, and we also had to resort to his calling the front desk for an interpreter at one point. Still, he was very helpful, and I have to admit that I guess I'm becoming "one of those middle-aged women" who enjoy the company of charming young men! (That's why I married you, John!!!)

Oh and it was amusing that apparently the hotel staff are referring to me as "Senora Oxford"!

So, sadly, I'm outside Rome proper and won't get into the city at all. But I thought Lord Celery's readers might get a kick out of a few digital photos taken here in the hotel, using my mobile phone...although they aren't of high quality.

(Click on any of the images for a larger version.)

Firstly, I LOVE Italian pasta...and even in a business hotel like this one, the pasta is as good as I've ever had. Last night's was the intriguing "Pear & Cheese Ribbons with Walnuts and Truffle Sauce". I'll have it again before I leave. (This was room service, by the way. I'm always too inhibited to eat in a restaurant alone when I'm travelling to teach.)

Here's my glorious view of "Rome" from my hotel room window this morning. Sad, huh? It could be any office complex anywhere in the world...

The view isn't much better from the room in the hotel where I'm running the courses. Nice palm tree, though! (Cindy & Andre, note the blue Fiat in the middle of the photo!)

I'm SURE this is a bit hard to read. Let me explain. All of the business suites in this Holiday Inn are named after philosophers. Our room is the "Sala Seneca". On the wall, there is a framed quote from Seneca. According to one of my Italian students. it means something like -- The gladiator controls the outcome in the arena.

And tonight -- once again via room service -- was the best lasagne I've ever eaten!

So goodnight from Italy...and perhaps I'll post again before I return to England late on Thursday night.



At 04 December, 2006 22:37 , Blogger Heather said...

I was in Rome 2 years ago for a meeting (on the way home from Kenya) and I had a similar experience - corporate hotel close to the airport, no chance to go downtown. My view was about the same as yours. It seems so disappointing to be there and not even see the Colluseum.

At least you have good food!

At 05 December, 2006 15:36 , Anonymous bronx boy said...

Signora in Rome, senora in Madrid. I am still drooling over the pasta dishes, however, I will pit my lasagne over the hotels'as it is an old family recipe with its origins in Naples.

At 05 December, 2006 18:25 , Blogger Janet said...

Heather -- Yes, you CAN appreciate the situation, then. I wish I felt like I had the time & energy after class tomorrow to wander into the city. If John was with me, I certainly would.

Bronx Boy -- You are STILL correcting my English -- oops "Italian" -- aren't you???? And I'd be delighted to sample your lasagne!!!


At 05 December, 2006 22:08 , Anonymous bronx boy said...

You know that you and John are always welcome here. I will be making lasagne for our Christmas dinner with our daughter and her family.

At 07 December, 2006 11:29 , Blogger The very nice man said...

Hello Mrs. Itchy-feet! You just can't stay still now, can you??
Are you ever going to blog from home??

At 08 December, 2006 16:51 , Blogger A Novelist said...

Oh how I miss Italy. Enjoy your stay! :)


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