Due Settimana in Italia
An Apolitical Travelogue
by Eric S. Piotrowski
Day Four: Cough Syrup, Keats and Crime
This super-cool picture wasn't take on Day Four, but I only have two other pictures for this page, so it'll serve as well as any. This image was totally accidental (Eric runs at Diane and snaps a pic), but it's still one of my favorites of the whole trip. (It makes a great desktop wallpaper.)
Woke up late on Day Four tired, groggy, and worn out. I finally agreed with Diane that it was time to get something for the cough. We went to the farmacia and I asked in Italian for something for cough (tosse). The lady fired back a question in Italian, to which I could only glance confused at Diane. The pharmacist lady then asked: "Chest?" I said yes. She gave me a bottle (which we later realized said "General Medicine") and told me to take "three big spoons" three times a day.
We ate breakfast at a cafe next door to the farmacia and apparently ordered backwards. (You're supposed to pay first, and go to the bar to get your food and drink later.) We went to the train station to reserve our spot on the Venice trip and stood in line for an hour or so. (After you buy your ticket, you also need to reserve your seat. It's a bit annoying to have two different steps, but that's how it's done.)
Once we were in Rome, I realized I hadn't brought a hat (and I burn easily). After getting our reservation, we went downstairs from the station into the shops to find a cap of some kind. At a Foot Locker of all places, I found a decent one and had to wait through two MTV videos, because the Law of Italian Lines apparently applies to stores as well. (One clerk at the register; three others wandering around doing God Knows What; other customers butting in ahead of me.)
Newly becapped, we went to the Spanish Steps and walked up and down. Took a tour of the Keats-Shelley House, where poet John Keats died in 1821. The museum hosts some interesting artifacts, but also plenty of random bric-a-brac as well. I got a nifty Ode on a Grecian Urn bookmark to add to the collection.
On the Metro ride back to the hotel, Diane (who held all the money for the trip, since I got paid on the day we left and couldn't get my ATM card to work in Italy apparently I should have called to let Associated Bank know I was going overseas) got pickpocketed. The jackass got away with 100 Euros, and gave us a general pissy feeling of violation. It made for a pretty frustrating end to the day.
Meanwhile, my cough continued unabated. (The syrup tasted pretty weak and didn't feel like it was doing much, but I continued to believe my hack would cease with time.) We took a nap and had a late dinner. We stayed up late reading, and slept some more.
Cough cough cough went Eric through the night.