No, I didn't eat on the plane while en route to Rome, which I had read was better for you; and I must say indeed it is: I didn't feel that horrible bloating that overcomes one at 33 thousand feet. Landing into rainy-one-minute-sunny-the-next Rome, I found that the Leonardo Express (we're talking train) into town was not running, even if attendants were letting people board. Take the bus! They kept saying. A young lady behind me noticed my yoga bag with mat inside, struck up a conversation, and before you could say Asana, we were sharing a cab and winding our way into the Eternal City.
After stopping at my hotel for a shower and shave (oh how blessed), I made my way over to the Vatican Museum, which I had not seen since 1985, but found that I was too late to enter. What to do? Go church hopping, of course, which I did after walking back across the Tiber towards the Pantheon, finding caffe gelato along the way (yes, the only thing I had eaten in 18 hours besides an apple), finding my way into Sant'Andrea delle Valle, which Puccini set as the first act of Tosca. What I didn't see the last time I was here (how could I miss him?) was the dead saint, which made me think of another opera: Four Saints in Three Acts by Virgil Thompson, which lead, of course, to the title of this post (you have to live in a musician brain to understand that lateral transition). I can't get enough of the place, with its golden lighten streaming throughout.
I'll make another stab at the Vatican Museum tomorrow afternoon, when the line is nonexistent (one hopes) and the weather more clear (so one hears).
Thursday morning, I join my Umbrian Serenade Comrades at the airport for the journey to Spoleto. Am I excited? Yes.