It is my birthday!
And we have left Paciano for 3 days in Rome before we go home. We got to visit with Betta and Suzy for a bit before leaving for the station. It was a sad leaving for me, so hard to believe that 4 weeks had already come and gone. But I was determined not to let the melancholy of the moment affect the rest of our time in Italy, so once in Rome, and a bit of pouting, I became excited about sharing the city with Bob (a Rome virgin). We were staying near the Coloseo, and so after a bit of a rest, we decided to take a walk over that way. We walked through a lovely park and at the end of the main walkway, rose the Colosseum. It was a wonderful way to be introduced to this magnificent wonder. The light was good for pictures, so we took several before crossing the street (cheated death is more like it) to find a restaurant.
Of course, all of the restaurants along the street are tourist restaurants, but hey........we're tourists. As in the hill towns and other sites we visited, there were few tourists (relatively speaking) in Rome. All of the restaurants had waiters along the street approaching people to entice them to eat at their restaurant. We walked up and down the street and decided on a place. The waiter was adorable. He had spent time in London "With a girl from the North." to improve his English. His English was excellent. He spoke with an Italian/British accent. I joked that he was now back in Rome, but without the girl from the North. He smiled in agreement, but explained that he still had contact with her and that,
"We have a shile." "I am a Dad." His eyes gleamed when he spoke of being a father. A sweet young man.
We discussed the dismal tourist season and world economy and after dinner, he brought us a digestivo. Amaro (roll the "r" please). It is NOT amaretto.........not at all amaretto, admonished our waiter. It had a distinctive, pleasing flavor and was a perfect ending to our dinner.
From the 'Net:
There is no formal definition of amaro, but all drinks bearing that name are made from neutral spirits (vodka, basically) infused with some mix of herbs, spices, roots, and rinds, and they are traditionally consumed after a meal as a digestivo.
The food was as expected, but this, believe it or not, wasn't about the food. I was enjoying this meal on my 57th birthday, with a lousy navigator, but wonderful man in the shadow of the Colosseum and the Palantine Hill at sunset............I'll be melancholy about my waning vacation another day.