This morning I chatted with the owner of the bed & breakfast about checking out before I heading to the Borghese Museum, where we had a tour with Alfio Borghese, a relative of the famous wealthy Borghese Gallery, whose mansion was turned into this gallery. I took an Uber and arrived just a little bit late. When I arrived I found my group and we had caffe while we waited for our allotted entry time. Because of fire code, the Borghese Museum has a timed entry system to limit the number of people in the museum at one time. Our time was at 1pm and it was 10:30 AM.
To pass additional time, we went for a walk through the gardens of the Borghese Museum, a park that is very big and beautiful with lots of trees and grass and open spaces. It was a beautiful weather day to spend time outside. This place has a pond with paddle boats and some statues. We saw the National Museum of Modern Art and used the restroom there, after we inspected the installation of giant lion sculptures on the front steps of the museum.
In the Borghese Museum photos aren’t allowed, but I accidentally took photos when I was holding my phone by the audio tour. We saw Bernini’s “Apollo and Daphne” and also “The Abduction of Proserpina.” Lots of Caravaggio paintings were in there, amongst other famous works and artists I can’t recall at the moment. It was all very incredible to see — even all the ceilings were covered inch by inch with paintings and carvings. After awhile though, we were getting museum fatigue and every painting of the virgin and child looked the same.
Tammy and I went to lunch with Alfio at a nearby ristorante Toscana with a rustic feel to it. I got the pasta carbonara, and it was very good. We were pleased with the food. During dinner I got to act as interpreter between Alfio and Tammy, since Tammy doesn’t speak any Italian, and sometimes Alfio’s English is hard to understand. I was impressed that with what little Italian I knew, I was able to supplement it with Spanish and make some sense of words between the two parties. We talked about art and life and got dessert after. When I offered Alfio water to drink, he said “Never water, always wine. Wine is better. Water only when you are sick.” Words of wisdom, right there.
After that, we stopped off at the Area Contessa gallery to see the show one last time, and then we said goodbye to Tammy, then Alfio drove me back to my hotel. There was very thick traffic so it took about 1 hour before I arrived to the hotel, which gave Alfio and I a chance to chat a little more about each of our cultures, language, art, and life. After I returned to my hotel, I walked around the neighborhood for the last time, and got a hot chocolate from the nearby pasticceria or bakery, then I bought a large jar of Nutella at a market (somehow the Italian version of Italian is far creamier and is superior to American Nutella in every way, though that’s not surprising). The market that I stopped at was very small, but it literally used up almost every square centimeter to stock both the shelves and the floor, except for a very narrow path to walk through the aisles. Then I got dinner on the outdoor patio of the bistro/bar right next to my hotel that I had been curious to check out while I was here. With everything, it was a nice way to finish off my last night. Then I went to hotel and packed up all my luggage and went to sleep and prepared to head to the airport in the morning to return to the States.