ROME - FALL 2016
This visit was to have certain highlights. Both Morgan and Brenan visited with us and we were going to leave Rome for about two weeks and go on a boat and bike trip that would stop in Sardinia, Corsica, Elba and Nice.
We have had a string of bad news with the last few visits here. This one started off the same way on the first night. We always eat at La Lampada on the first night. We have been doing that for 12 years. The two owner/waiters are always there. They work seven days a week for both lunch and dinner. Each of them takes one night off per week. They have worked together for 33 years. When we went in we noticed that Salvatore was not in the restaurant. When we asked his partner where he was he told us he would speak to us after dinner but that Salvatore was sick. We could tell it was not just sick and it turned out he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Salvatore was the type of person who 'lit up' the restaurant. We always enjoyed stopping there after dinner somewhere else to have a late night snack and lemoncello with him.
Salvatore adored the Queen who sometimes ventured into the kitchen to see how they made things.
Salvatore with his partner Jacimo and the Queen. They are wearing the aprons we bought all the waiters several years ago.
In front of the restaurant with Salvatore and one of the cooks Jean Franco.
NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN
You would think after 12 years of coming here I would be aware that there are pickpockets everywhere. When riding public transit I always switch my wallet from the back pocket of my jeans to the front pocket. I also make sure I only carry what will needed for the day. If I am not going to use my ATM card I leave it at the apartment. Same with credit cards, etc. On this day we went for lunch with some professors from Roma Tre - the third university in Rome. On the return trip we were entering the subway and I had not moved my wallet from my back pocket to the front. I was also carrying everything in it... dumb.. I noticed a group of young men at the bottom of the escalator and they got on behind me and Hynda. Hynda was right behind me. After we had gone about ¼ of the way up the escalator stopped and the young men rushed past Hynda to get behind and on one side of me. I then felt the one behind reaching into my back pocket. Fortunately, I was able to slap his hand away and he did not get my wallet. We think they had stopped the escalator so they could separate me from Hynda and run back down it after they got may wallet.