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Tuesday 25 July 2000

Yesterday's train on time; at the station the prudent thing to do seemed to hop Mr. Cab again, since he was there. I could have managed, but this was better. No dinner at all, although a liter of fruit juice and half a liter of milk. Did not kerzonk to sleep right away, because of the coffee; set the alarm for 0430 thinking I might get up and manage the 0611 train.

This morning I turned off the alarm, rolled over, and slept to past seven; then did laundry and made myself a solid plate of linguini with oil and garlic, with half a glass of red wine even at 9:30 A.M. — and the tail end of the crème de marrons. This saved me an inevitably expensive meal in Rome, but it also meant I was on my feet nonstop from the arrival of the train three or four minutes late, just before one, to the departure back home at seven and a bit.

So, two days back to back in the Urbs; I set myself to follow Georgina Masson around the Trastevere, so immediately took a cab (11300L) from Termini to the Piazza Gioacchino Belli; and in essence saw two churches and some un-touristed streets, not even very many cars.

S. Crisogono fairly straightforward, also the paleochristian innards of it require the sacristy to be open, at 4 P.M.

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Mary and Jesus on the façade of the basilica of S. Maria in Trastevere, 13c mosaic. Notice what appear to be the wise and foolish virgins (to Mary's right and left, respectively).

S. Maria in Trastevere, on the other hand, took two hours and just over two rolls of film: the mosaics mostly, lots of tripod, about which I'm still quite nervous and unsure; but the whole building full of interesting stuff, and a raft of inscriptions in the narthex, although generally more Christian than classical. Left the church at 3:45, and of course that shot down Georgina Masson's itinerary, plus no I didn't want to see the Farnesina. My original idea had been to go look at the Porta S. Pancrazio and maybe even walk the view on top of the Janiculum, but I was both hot and still foot-wary; so walked back via the Ponte Sisto and S. Bartolomeo all' Isola.​a I was rewarded for my velleities of doing the Porta S. Pancrazio,º a bit, by crossing a little street named after Colomba Antonietti: nothing of any note other than the street name, so no picture; although there seems to be a rooftop garden restaurant that might be nice some other day.

Got a bit lost after that, not really much, but enough to fall in my usual rut of rushing from the Capitol to Termini (although I varied it by taking the parallel Via Leonina and Via Urbana: much more pleasant walk than Cavour; I've found myself a new rut. . .) Since I was at the Capitol, I checked in on the schedule — open every day except Monday; but thru lunch, which is nice — but got a bad surprise: no flash or tripod now. Flash was fine two years ago; what's the matter with all these bureaucrats? Time to go squint at the Vatican or the Museo Nazionale for a change, then.

Anyway, this walk not as much of a rush as on other occasions; half an hour ample time: I even stopped in a grocery store and got a liter of orange juice (which is worth 8g of protein, surprisingly), a bottle of fizzy water, and a small bunch of grapes, pro cena mihi erunt —

This train was held up several times in the early part of its course — and the trains had been doing so well this year thus far! — so that it's now 2139 and we've just left Trevi (shamelessly calling attention to itself with its street lights!); this will put me at Fossato Stazione half an hour late, thus up the hill — tonite I expect to do it on foot — and home by a quarter to eleven.

Yesterday evening when I got back home, Mario knocked at the door to give me two letters, one from James, one from Debi: a lovely surprise, and both good letters too. Also, my fonino had a message for me from a man in Costacciaro named Andrea Gambucci, a Flaminia buff; I called him back an hour ago from the train, and we'll have lunch together tomorrow. That'll knock out the day for tourist purposes, but it'll be a nice break.

Later Note:

a looking back, I can't understand why the diary telescopes a walk of an hour or two thru an interesting and beauti­ful part of Rome. For example:

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Looking roughly N down the vicolo della Scala to the Porta Settimiana.

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