It is a myth that all Italians in big cities speak English.
My feet were sweating in my socks today and by the time we made our way over to St. Peter’s (successfully on a bus and a train) and traipsed all over Vatican City and around the church (il Papá is doing okay, if you were wondering), the soles of my feet were burning like hellfire.
Just outside the walls of the Vatican is a little shopping area and there were two little chihuahuas just sitting outside a store. We stopped to pet them and a gentleman came out and started talking to us.
They were his dogs, and they’re trained to be off the leash – just the sweetest little things, and he takes them everywhere. One of them wandered off and he walked over and said, “Would you get back over here?” Then he came back and told us, “Rocco is deaf when he feels like it.”
There was no way I was going back the way we came, so we got a Mercedes (!) taxi with a Very Hot Taxi Driver (just like a young Tony Danza) to take us back to Piazza Argentina, where we happened to know there was a Chinese restaurant (okay, but not great), and our favorite pharmacia, Dr. Grossa’s, where I could get something for my aching feet.
The three women in there (one of whom told me just this morning that they don’t have hairbrushes and she doesn’t know where to get one) don’t speak any more English than I speak Italian, but we managed to convey between ourselves that I needed something for my burning feet.
One of the products is for soaking, but here in our apartment (straight up a bunch of stairs, in case you don’t remember) we only have a shower.
They conferred among themselves, and finally happily proclaimed, “Oss on toilet, feet in bee-day!”
I don’t remember the last time I was so tickled at any proclamation. We all giggled and I paid for my things and left.
It has been a glorious day here, and I am now seated on the lid of our giant rectangular toilet with my feet in the giant rectangular bidet, full of hot water and green salts, typing. I didn’t even know bidets had stoppers and hot water!
Neither of us have used the bidet for its actual purpose, because we can’t figure out what to do afterwards, other than maybe shake.
St. Peter’s is amazing and huge. There are actual preserved bodies of popes in there (pictures to follow), wearing their Prada house slippers, and the statuary is incredible, as are the paintings and floors and ceilings.
The people watching is prime, and I remain amazed at the things people will put on – I’m convinced they don’t mirrors and electricity.
There are a lot of Scotsmen here in kilts – there are some kind of games going on here. The Scots lost, but they’re taking it well – they feel that they’re the best at being the worst. They’re so cute I want to bring one home with me.
You would only believe the light and how blue the sky is if you saw it for yourself. It’s like I’ve been picked up and set down in a painting.
Everyone here is just so nice and so helpful. I love it here.
Tomorrow is the Colosseum (really, this time). Then Monday to Florence for a few days, then back here for a few more days.
Time to drain the bidet!