21.05.1999 - 21.05.1999
DAY 11 FRI Our last day in Rome. Having experienced everything that Rome has to offer we decided to revisit the Forum, only in a more relaxed manner. Much to my disappointment I couldn’t find any bits of the Forum small enough to fit in my pocket. Virtually all of the temples and palaces were missing most of their components, so I can only assume that other people over the centuries have shared my interest in possessing bits of famous places. I was comforted somewhat by the fact that I had managed to collect some lava from Pompeii as well as the toe of an unfortunate petrified person.
Once out of the Forum we took the Metro to Cinecitta to visit the fabled Cinecitta Two department store. Once again I marvelled at the lack of interesting shops in Rome. Shoes and clothes, boringamento! Margaret bought a pair of shoes which gave her a degree of pleasure which was beyond my understanding. The only article I had bought so far in Italy had been an ancient Christian oil lamp, which I strongly suspected was not authentic.
We returned to the Metro station only to find that the Metro was broken. This was not a good thing as we were so far out in the sticks that we were not even on the map. We had no idea what to do but eventually found a bus terminus where extra buses had been laid on to replace the trains. By one of those not infrequent strokes of good fortune that we could only attribute to the hand-carved wooden crucifix Margaret carried for luck, we met an elderly Englishwoman, resident in Rome, who was able to direct us to the right bus.
After a long ride in a bus crammed with people, none of whom needed to breathe and therefore kept the windows closed, we arrived at a place we somewhat vaguely recognized. An extremely long walk through unfamiliar streets eventually brought us to the seedy far end of Via Principe Amadeo and we staggered back along its length to our hotel. We had planned to dine for the last time at Trattoria Giovanni however it was inexplicably closed and we were forced to sup elsewhere.