TODAY- (that's in an official announcement voice) we had an exciting adventurer to Ostia Antica! Now I know you're excited. As it was described to me initially, it's like the flooded version of Pompeii. So rather than everything being preserved in volcanic ash, it was preserved under water when the Tiber flooded years ago (and that's a lot of years if you couldn't tell by the inflection). Moving on, basically they have uncovered a bunch of this ancient city that's about an hour outside of Rome down the Tiber toward the Mediterranean Sea. It was initially used as a defensive city for Rome before she reached the height of power at which point it switched to a port city that basically fed Rome. Naturally, it's then a really sweet place to find all kinds of neat-o artifacts and discover the ways of life from 240(ish) BCE to well past the 3rd century. So lots of old things. And that's awesome.
Let's play a little game called-Describe stuff. The cobble stones were very very smooth, but were incredibly uneven in places, this naturally made it some what challenging to walk without tripping. The consequence of not tripping of course is then missing the 2,000+ year old architecture. Unga Bunga. Our dear guide-we shall describe him as a Billy-goat ninja (and this is because he was not only agile over these precarious rocks, but he was a ninja with lightening fast speed too!) was both informative and as a plus an art history professor. Mine? Perhaps... we shall see. But he was nice enough, and I thought I learned a lot, so that's a plus. We walked around for 2 hours, checking out the baths, the other baths, the temples, the other temples, pointed to the first known Synagogue in Europe (that's pretty sweet), mosaics, ancient toilets, some more stone stuff, some frescos--you get the picture. Mostly delightful with the exception of the heat thing, that was a little sticky.
After we survived that feeling much more enlightened, and very dehydrated, we loaded back up on the bus (PS, driving a coach bus in Rome must be the single most terrifying job in the city. Not a joke. You could just crush dozens of the little baby Smart cars and not even know!) and went for another 30ish minute drive to this farm called Borgo di Tragliata. The subtitles to that go something like "the most beautiful place you will ever eat a 5 course meal". It was literally the best kind of get-me-another-plate-of-that-would-you-please place you would ever want to eat. But the trouble is that even if you LOVE (and I do mean the kind of love-you want to marry it) you can't possibly fill up on that alone because you know the next course is going to also be spectacular. A very peculiar dilemma. So here's the menu-the good and the better of it: White and tomato pizza, red chicory ham and mozzarella tart (THE BEST), cous-cous with vegetables, spaghetti pasta amatriciana style, chicken with peppers served with roasted potatoes, and finished off with apple cake. Can we talk about how delicious that entire thing was? And the company was pretty damn good too. We laughed, we talked, we thought the potatoes tasted like cookies, and had just a jolly time. Then as kind of a lets-work-off-all-of-those-calories-time we walked up to the castle on sight, and saw the gardens and the pigs near by. Hannah, we took pictures just for you. Then back on the bus, for a short nap on the way back to Rome.
Then, because Kate apparently thought that everywhere was as cold as MN=false. So we had to go shopping where we found some clothing, and I found a black belt (not the ass kicking kind, I always have that kind) to replace the one I left in Belton. That was then considered pretty successful-along with the addition of the gelato we found on the way. Came home, made dinner, talked, laughed (are you seeing a trend here?) and now it's group blog time, and then to bed. Beautiful.