"The junior owner of Stazzione Birra, Alessandro, was knocking on the bus door at 10 AM. He came to take us on a personal guided tour of Rome. It doesn’t get any more hospitable than that. He decided to lead us to the subway station in his car. Bare in mind we had to follow in the bus. As Alessandro was zooming his way to the tube, we were getting a lesson in zero gravity as Duncan valiantly whipped around corners to keep up. The band and crew were being slammed from side to side as the bus sprinted its way through the winding roads.
We tumbled out of the bus and hopped aboard a tube into downtown Rome. When we emerged to the city streets it was like stepping out of a time machine. An extraordinary city with a history told in art and architecture. The weather was perfect and the rain from the night before had washed the city clean. Our first site was the Spanish stairs and a fountain carved in amazing detail from a single piece of……and Paul is in the fountain.
We entered the Pantheon as a wedding was taking place. A choral of Ave Maria echoed inside with a tone that could never be reproduced anywhere else. Never one to miss an opportunity, I launched into a symphony of armpit farts to test the acoustics further. It sounded as if King Kong was relieving himself in the oculus up top. A truly life affirming moment. Apparently, the wedding party didn’t have the same passion for music that I have, but thanks to me, it was a ceremony they will never forget. Otherwise, the bride would have only remembered that the groom had booked a church with a big hole in the ceiling.
Alessandro, showed us the amazing sites around town including an original public notice from the early Christian period forbidding public urination. Obviously, my attention to history is governed by my affinity towards bodily functions (How old am I?). Alessandro obviously gave us a knowledgeable tour of the city, but my developmentally arrested mind remembers what it wants.
We made our way to the Fontana di Trevi to marvel at its….and Paul is playing in the water again. Yes Paul! We all see you! Okay! Come outta there! Now! NOW!!! And apologize to the nice police officers. That’s better. No, they didn’t have to draw their guns, but you didn’t have to splash them either.
We convened at a restaurant run by Alessandro’s brother. How great is this guy? “This is a famous rock band from the United States! Could you please see that they are well taken care of ?”. We looked around for Green Day until we realized Alessandro was referring to us. He told a lie to his own brother to assure that we would quickly be seated. Truly an outstanding individual. Upon seeing to it that we were well fed, Alessandro made his back to the club. Thanks again Alessandro!!!
After an intestinally challenging amount of alcohol we made our way through the ruins (and an army stray cats) to the Colosseum. It was really…..BIG! Before the trip, my Dad had warned me to keep a look out for the some skeletons in the nose bleed section of the amphitheater. Apparently, during WWII he and a friend had escorted some fine young tomatoes (as they were called back in those days) to the Colosseum and then abandoned them. Sure enough, there were two really pissed off women in their late 70s waiting to be beat the living snot out of me with loaves of bread that were 60 years stale. I guess, in a way, this trip was vindication for my Dad as well. Soon after we were back aboard the subway. After even more beers at the train station (just cause we could), some photographic indiscretions with unassuming Italian females (regular little shutterbug I am), and facing down a hole in the ground that was supposed to be a toilet, we were off to Wuerzburg, Germany.
I’m never coming home!!"