Pouring rain changed our plans. Instead of a walk through the cobbled alleys of Trastevere to join our landlords for coffee, they gave us a ride to EUR and we had coffee near the museums we planned to visit.
I can’t say enough good things about Federica and Franco. She is an archaeologist working in prehistory, brilliant, lively and kind, and he is a retired engineer, calm and a veritable saint when it comes to assisting a clueless tourist with her baffling SIM card issues. The apartment we rented from them has a quirky charm, a well-stocked kitchen and has been a very comfortable base of exploration.
EUR, Esposizione Universale Roma, was initiated by Mussolini and intended to be the city center of Fascist-era Rome. WWII stopped construction and many buildings were not completed until the 1960 Olympics. It houses corporate and government offices and a complex of museums. One of the iconic building is the Colosseo Quadrato.We shared conversation and delicious coffee and pastries in a large, bustling café. Afterwards, they dropped us beside the portico of the Prehistoric Ethnographic Museum.
The Hipstamatic photo app seemed apropos for these artifacts.
I found this couple, spooning in their shared grave, deeply moving. Love may not conquer death, but it sure makes life worthwhile. Fish hooks and needles, sure, but who knew the safety pin has been with us for 2000 years?Among the masks from other cultures was this doppelgänger for Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy.
Sometimes I find hope for the future of humanity in the little things, like this hair comb. A necessary item made into a charming ornament.We went back to the little dove pastry shop and coffee bar for our lunch – and I’d recommend it if I could accurately Google it up.
The sky was now a brilliant blue, everything washed sparkling clean by the thunderstorm which had rolled through. We passed a little tent market, with a three-wheeled flower truck parked by the curb. I found a scarf I liked, and Robert found a wallet he wanted for his birthday (happy birthday, darlin’). The best score; a cheap cable for my elderly iPod.
The Roman Culture Museum had all kinds of interesting depictions of daily life, and humble yet beautiful implements, but what we won’t forget were the fencing exhibitions we stumbled upon. There was sword play in progress all over the museum, from children competing in a grand hall to tutorials in various rooms and on the balcony.
It was like coming across a covey of re-enactors or a gaggle of Game of Thrones extras.
When pre-planning and serendipity converge, it makes for a very satisfying afternoon.