Rome again.

Purists tell me that television isn’t good for you. “Oh I never watch TV, I don’t have time” they say.
I LOVE television. I’ve missed the news while traveling, I soak up documentaries and and a darn good movie is a wonderful soother after a busy day. I also learn so much. I mean, I found out that Octopus have sex on their elbows, now nobody told me that during my school years. Thank you Mr Discovery.
My glasses are always crooked because I fall asleep watching the latest information  and I have a mind full of unusual  information that I just might need in the future.

I’ve found it hard to sleep in some beds over the past 5 weeks and it’s the reason I usually stay at Hilton Hotels when I have the choice. Their beds are all the same. The service is great when you’re a status body and tonight we are back in the Hilton in Rome.
TV, good beds, good view and a great breakfast. Yay.
We traveled by fast train from Florence to Rome, we hit speeds of 250 ams an hour. the scenery flashes past so its hard to capture an image.

Our afternoon was spent wandering around the old part of Rome. Its Sunday and most of the shops were shut. The line up to get into St Peters was immense, 60,000 people; can fit in the square in front of the Basilica and it was certainly full today.
We walked  – (along with 1000’s of others) and took in the local scenery.

Gypsies are ever present. You may think this is an old lady, but her hands show that she is young. They can sit and beg like this for hours. (until the police come) then its up and run. They get on the trains, handle your luggage and try to get money… you have to be vigilant, as in Paris they work in packs. Most of these ladies come from Romania.

Family groups were out enjoying the sun sitting in cafes, drinking wine and eating delicious food. Sitting on the tram with a group of white clad nuns we felt a part of the community. We even found the correct stop.
The food has been different in each area.
My favorite so far is Tomato and basil bread soup.

6 cloves garlic
1 large onion, peeled,cut in half,thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper
1 (1 3/4 lb) can plum tomatoes
1 lb stale bread, sliced,torn into small pieces
6 cups broth, of your choosing
1 cup packed basil, shredded
grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil with the chili pepper until the garlic has lightly browned and the onion is just getting golden; add the tomato; season with salt; add half the basil leaves torn into tiny pieces; crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon and stir; cook until the tomatoes fall apart (about 20 minutes).

Put the bread into the sauce; the bread will soak up the sauce and it will get quite thick; add enough stock to soften the bread and to make it liquidy; add the remaining basil and cook until the bread becomes a kind of mush (this is called’pappa’).
Serve, sprinkling with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over each serving.

And then again there is the brushetta.

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