Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Wandering Civitavecchia: The Kissing Sailor and More

We slept well last night and slept in this morning. Kathy manages to make coffee in small but useful quantities.We decide to spend the morning exploring the area on foot.

We make our way downhill toward the waterfront, navigating no fewer than three roundabouts and putting our faith in Italian drivers in the crosswalks.

We stop to have a look at the statue of the Virgin Mary, situated at an intersection, reminding us that Italy is a Catholic country.

As we near the waterfront, we see an impressive World War II memorial.

Is it jarring or reassuring that the next statue we spot is a 25-foot tall interpretation of the famous Life Magazine photo of an American sailor spontaneously kissing a girl in Times Square, New York City, during a raucous 1945 celebration of V-J Day?

Maybe a little of both. There are statues memorializing the classic Alfred Eisenst√§dt photo in various places, but to see this one erected so close to that WWII memorial in a city heavily damaged by Allied bombing  is, well, something.

We see a couple re-enacting the kiss, apparently a common phenomenon.

Memories stir and we realize we first saw this statue here just over 10 years ago.

We stroll along the waterfront, realizing we’ll be sailing over the bounding main in just a couple of days.

The fort was completed in 1535.

We stop at a little café for panini, tasty and not expensive.

As we walk back to our apartment, Kathy reacts as someone grabs her arm. It’s Mauro, our landlord, walking in the same direction. He drops us off at our apartment with promises to pick us up tomorrow for his tour.

We relax for awhile, before deciding on a destination for dinner, Osteria Lorodi. An Osteria is generally a place that serves simple food at reasonable prices. The Google Maps app is working well and navigates us there in less than 15 minutes.

This joint is not impressive at first glance. The tables are bare and at 7:30 there are no other customers. American rock music is blaring over the speakers. For the second time in 24 hours we listen to Aretha Franklin singing RESPECT. Haven’t they heard of Pavarotti or Bocelli here?

The young waiter claims to speak no English but is willing to work with us. He sets the table efficiently.

The menu is short and easy to understand. The wine list is short and consists of red or white. That’s easy.

For appetizers we select Bruschetta and tempura-style veggies (Verdure Fritto Misto).

Our primo piatti consist of agnolotti, a ravioli- type dish with truffles, and cannelloni.

We both opt for the tagliata for our secondi, rare beef, 
Parmagiano, and Rucola (arugula or rocket).

This excellent and filling three-course meal with more wine than we can drink sets us back €72 plus an appropriately modest tip for the friendly young waiter.

Our walk back to the apartment brings our total distance for the day up to 3.8 miles, and hopefully we’re burning off some of those calories.

Tomorrow we view some of the local highlights through Italian eyes. In the meantime, Buona Notte.

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