So it wasn’t the oyster after all. I had the flu. Jeff got it today and feels mass sick-o, and appropriately guilty for all the flack he dished out about me being a wimp. I powered through on my ostriche day, but Jeff? Jeff did not. He was in bed all day, and just made it out long enough to eat a quick dinner.
I was bummed to be exploring partnerless for the day, but set off for some solo adventures. In all, the day was lovely (except for missing a ffeJ), I approached it as a relaxing day off in Rome with no plans, no schedule, no to do list – just living like a Roman on holiday for the day. I started with my daily espresso, a habit I’m going to find hard to break when I return to LA. Properly caffeinated, I set off for a morning of (mostly window) shopping. Reluctant to properly indulge my urges to shop with Jeff around (I know he gets bored, so I try to moderate), I was happy to have a morning to myself to canvas the city. I started near the Pantheon, shopped my way up to Piazza del Popolo, then browsed my way back to the Spanish Steps. I bought a few trinkets, nothing much, but my shopping thirst was adequately quenched.
Shopping can be quite the workout when executed well, so I wandered into Tazza D’Oro for a pick-me-up. I decided to try a granita – basically a coffee slushy with cream, which I’ve been hearing a lot about the last few days. It was not for me. Very sweet. I tried a couple of bites, then waited until I was far enough away from the cafe where I was sure no one would see the sin I was about to commit, and I disposed of it in the garbage.
Feeling guilty about the granita, and about my ill bf, I went back to check on Jeff. He was still in sick mode, so I decided to head off to check out the Caravaggio show. The real one this time. There was a long line. It took about an hour, but it’s the first serious line I’ve waited in on the trip, so it was no bother. I figured by the wait that they were only letting a small crowd in to view the show at a time. After all, I’d seen a Caravaggio show with all the same works in Naples a few years ago, and my group was among the only people there. But no, 15% of the population of Rome was at this Caravaggio exhibit. It was really overwhelming. I took a quick browse, and got out. Before heading out I weighed the travesty level of just leaving a show like this without really spending any time in it. Part of this moral dilemma occurred in front of Judith Beheading Holofernes. I realized: I really don’t like looking at this. I really don’t like looking at blood gushing out of someone’s neck. Sure it’s Caravaggio, sure it’s executed perfectly, but I’m done looking at it. A lot of art is uncomfortable to look at, but is making some sort of plea, or statement, or social declaration, and I think it’s important to expose yourself to stuff like that, at least long enough to consider it. But I’m not sure Caravaggio was making any such statement, at least not anything relevant to today’s world, so I was comfortable just walking away. Not all the pieces were like that of course, Caravaggio has painted his share of happy babies, dewy fruit baskets, and fleshy naked angels, and those works were represented at the show as well. Regardless, it would have been an exhibit to spend some more time in for sure if I hadn’t had the chance to see it before.
It was getting close to dinner time too, so I went back to see how the patient was feeling. He was still bummy, but wanted to try to eat something. We settled on a new restaurant in the Campo. The restaurant stands out for its “hip” factor. Many restaurants in Italy seem not to put much effort into ambiance, at least not a hot, new, and edgy ambiance like is coveted back home. We think because 1) when you’re located across from the Pantheon or the Coliseum, is anyone going to care about your furniture? Really, why even try competing with the view, and 2) the food is just so good, why be concerned with anything else? Anyway, this place does care about what it looks like, and is pretty cute. It would be generic in Santa Monica or LA, but stands out here. We figured this might be an indication that the food was less than spectacular, and for the most part, we were right. It was fine, but nothing great. The table next to us was occupied by a Seattle family, and we chatted with them for a bit, exchanging notes on our favorite gelato joints. We called it an early night so Jeff could rest, hoping his “Ostriche Day” was over.